Sisley has been compared to his longtime friend and colleague, Claude Monet, whom he met while studying at the Gleyre studio in Paris in the early 1860s. Like Monet, Sisley devoted most of his career to painting Impressionistic landscapes.
Sisley's style differed somewhat from that of the Impressionist school; his brushstroke was firm and created a higher definition of form, a technique reminiscent of English landscape painters. Most of his paintings, however, are of scenes in and around Paris. His most significant series of landscapes depict the flood of 1876 at Port-Marley. He was able to record diverse light effects by painting in the open-air at different times of the day.
Although Sisley contributed to many of the Impressionistic exhibitions, he never received the recognition of his peers while he was alive.