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Bords du loing près de moret
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About the item

Bords du Loing près de Moret ranks amongst the finest achievements of Sisley's mature œuvre. The crystalline brilliance of the afternoon light falling across the banks of the river is beautifully rendered by the artist's staccato brushstrokes. The motif of poplars planted in long avenues is one which distinguishes the French countryside, and one which Sisley's colleague Monet devoted many canvases to during the same period as the present work was painted (fig. 1). In 1880 Alfred Sisley settled with his family in the village of Moret-sur-Loing, fifty kilometres south of Paris, on the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau. On 31st August 1881 he wrote to Monet: ‘Moret is two hours journey from Paris, and has plenty of places to let at six hundred to a thousand francs. There is a market once a week, a pretty church, and beautiful scenery round about. If you were thinking of moving, why not come and see?’ (A. Sisley quoted in Sisley (exhibition catalogue), op. cit., 1966).\n\nSisley remained in Moret until his death in 1899, and it was here that his work achieved its final flowering; incorporating both his favourite compositional motifs, such as the receding avenue of trees, to a distinctly post-impressionist approach to applying paint. The surrounding landscape of Moret provided limitless variation and opportunity for painting. The polar-lined banks of the Loing are depicted, in a similar configuration to the present work, in numerous canvases painted through the final decade of his life. As Richard Shone explains: 'The fame of Moret rested not so much on what was found inside the town but on the view it presented from across the Loing. Old flour and tanning mills clustered along the bridge; the river, scattered with tiny islands, seemed more like a moat protecting the houses and terraced gardens that, on either side the sturdy Porte de Bourgogne, in turn defended the pinnacled tower of the church. Add to this the tree-lined walks along the river, the continuous sound of water from the weir and the great wheels of the mills, the houseboats and fishermen, and there was, as every guidebook exclaimed, 'a captivating picture', a sight 'worthy of the brush'. These supremely picturesque aspects of Moret left Sisley unabashed’ (R. Shone, Sisley, London, 1992, p. 159). Although Sisley was the quintessential Impressionist painter his compositional motifs often derived from classical arrangements which he admired. A particular favourite was Meindert Hobbema's Avenue at Middelharnis (1689, National Gallery, London) which shares a lithe avenue of poplars as its central device with the present work. The extraordinary vitality of Sisley's trees is amplified by the gloriously vernal atmosphere evoked by the verdant palette employed. The beautifully painted cobalt blue sky embodies the importance that the artist attached to this part of the landscape, as explained in a letter to his friend, the art critic Adolphe Tavernier: 'The sky is not simply a background; its planes give depth (for the sky has planes, as well as solid ground), and the shapes of clouds give movement to a picture. What is more beautiful indeed than the summer sky, with its wispy clouds idly floating across the blue? What movement and grace! Don't you agree? They are like waves on the sea; one is uplifted and carried away' (quoted in Sisley (exhibition catalogue), op. cit., 1966).\nSigned Sisley (lower left)
GB
GB
GB

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Alfred Sisley

condition

The canvas is lined. Apart from a few spots of retouching in the upper left corner, visible under ultra-violet light, this work is in good condition. Colours: Overall fairly accurate in the printed catalogue illustration, although more vibrant in the original. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

dimensions

73 by 92cm.

exhibition

New York, Wildensten & Co., Sisley, 1966, no. 64, illustrated in the catalogue New York, Acquavella Galleries, Four Masters of Impressionism, 1968, no. 51, illustrated in colour in the catalogue Brescia, Museo di Santa Giulia, Monet, la Senna, le ninfee. Il grande fiume e il nuovo secolo, 2004-05, no. 35, illustrated in colour in the catalogue Passariano, Villa Manin, L'età di Courbet e Monet, 2009-10, no. 112, illustrated in the catalogue Giverny, Musée des Impressionnismes, L'impressionnisme au fil de la Seine, 2010, no. 35, illustrated in colour in the catalogue Tokyo, The National Art Center; Dazaifu, Kyushu National Museum & Nagoya, Nagoya City Art Museum, Van Gogh. The Adventure of becoming an Artist, 2010-11, no. 72, illustrated in colour in the catalogue Wuppertal, Von der Heydt-Museum, Alfred Sisley. Der wahre Impressionist, 2011-12, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

literature

Julien Leclerq, 'Alfred Sisley', in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, vol. 21, March 1899, illustrated p. 231 Théodore Duret, Histoire des Peintres Impressionnistes, Paris, 1906, illustrated p. 91 Jules Lieure, 'La Gazettes des Beaux-Arts et la Gravure', in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, vol. 75, 1933, no. 2, mentioned pp. 351-364 François Daulte, Alfred Sisley. Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Lausanne, 1959, no. 795, illustrated Raymond Cogniat, Sisley, Munich, 1978, illustrated p. 78 Charlotte van Regenmortel, Benno Tempel et al., Miracle de la couleur. Impressionnisme en post-Impressionnisme, Zwolle, 2003, no. 14, illustrated p. 158 Munch e lo spirito del Nord (exhibition catalogue), Villa Manin, Passariano, 2010, illustrated p. 18

provenance

Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris Wildenstein & Co., Paris & New York Mrs Norman B. Woolworth, New York Galerie Hopkins Custot, Paris Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2000

signedDate

Signed Sisley (lower left)

time_period

Painted in 1892.

consignmentDesignation

Property from a Private European Collection

creator_nationality_dates

1839 - 1899


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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