Madame Sisley on the banks of the Loing at Moret
16 Jun 1858 - 22 Apr 1930
One of the most significant expatriate Australian artists in fin-de-siècle Europe, Russell first trained in London before moving to Paris in the 1880s to pursue his dream of becoming an artist. There he became interested in the work of the Impressionists, applying their approaches to colour and subject to his own work. In 1887 he spent some time at Moret, a small village south of Paris by the Loing River, where he stayed in a villa next door to the Impressionist painter Alfred Sisley. There he made a number of paintings, including this which shows Sisley's wife Marie, painted with the broken brushstrokes and high palette of the Impressionists.
oil on canvas
45.7 x 60.9 cm stretcher; 53.0 x 78.5 x 9.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.r., black/green oil "JOHN. RUSSELL". Not dated.
Purchased with assistance from the Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust 1996
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Unknown (Wildenstein Gallery), Wildenstein Gallery, London, 1965–1965
Impressions: painting light and life, National Portrait Gallery [Parliamentary Zone], Canberra, 25 Nov 2011–04 Mar 2012
Australian impressionists in France, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne, 15 Jun 2013–06 Oct 2013
Australia's Impressionists, National Gallery, London, London, 07 Dec 2016–26 Mar 2017
John Russell, Australia’s French impressionist, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 21 Jul 2018–11 Nov 2018
Referenced in 9 publications
Martin Bailey, Apollo: the international art magazine, 'A friend of Van Gogh: Dodge MacKnight and the post-impressionists', pg. 28-34, London, Jul 2007-Aug 2007, 33, 34 (colour illus.).
Sarah Engledow, Impressions: painting light & life, Catalogue essay, pg. 7-16, Canberra, 2011, 12, 36-37 (colour illus.). cat.no. 10
Ann Galbally, The art of John Peter Russell, Melbourne, 1977, 100 (illus.). cat.no. 61
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 109 (colour illus.).
Ursula Prunster, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Home and abroad', pg. 73-74, Sydney, 2000, 83 (colour illus.), 301.
Elizabeth Salter, The Lost Impressionist a Biography of John Peter Russell, Sydney, 1976.
Elena Taylor, Australian impressionists in France, 'John Russell and friends: Roberts, Monet, van Gogh, Matisse, Rodin', pg. 52-70, Melbourne, 2013, 67 (colour illus.), 169, 175, 176.
Wayne Tunnicliffe, Australia's impressionists, 'John Russell: a landscape apart', pg. 51-63, London, 2016, 54, 55 (colour illus., detail), 98 (colour illus.), 116, 125, 127. cat.no. 32
Wayne Tunnicliffe, Look, 'The lost impressionist', pg. 18-22, Sydney, Aug 2016, 19, 21, 22 (colour illus.).