Late 19th & early 20th Century Paintings & Decorative Arts Gallery Level 2, NGV International
Sisley executed two paintings of haystacks in the summer of 1891, a few months after Monet’s famous series had been exhibited to critical acclaim in Paris. Notwithstanding his adoption of Monet’s subject, Sisley’s treatment of haystacks is very much his own. Eschewing Monet’s abstraction of the landscape context and his transformation of the fleeting moment into a universal statement, Sisley’s depiction remains a record of a particular location seen in the sparkling sunlight of a summer’s morning. The strong diagonal placement of the rounded ricks is an element that appears widely in Impressionist paintings from 1890 onwards.