Lot 3224 - A197 Impressionist & Modern Art - Friday, 02. July 2021, 05.00 PM

ALFRED SISLEY

(Paris 1839–1899 Moret-sur-Loing)
Tournant du Loing à Moret. 1896.
Oil on canvas.
Signed and dated lower left: Sisley 96.
60 × 73 cm.

We would like to thank the Comité Alfred Sisley for confiming the authenticity of the work, Paris, 29 March 2021. It will be included in the catalogue critique des peintures et pastels currently in preparation.

Provenance:
- M. Propper.
- Galerie Daniel Malingue, Paris, 1972.
- Auction Koller, Zurich, 28 May 1976, lot 5179.
- Swiss private collection, acquired at the above auction and by descent to the present owners.

Exhibited:
- Paris 1904, Sisley, Galerie Rosenberg, 7–24 November 1904, no. 36 (label on the reverse).
- Paris 1939, Sisley, Galerie Paul Rosenberg, 9 May–10 June 1939, no. 37.

In 1889 Alfred Sisley settled permanently in Moret-sur-Loing. Located on the banks of the Loing and the Canal du Loing, the town provided an ideal starting point for his painting expeditions. Employing an almost systematic approach, Sisley captured the diverse corners of his surroundings, producing vedutas of the city with its bridge and Notre Dame church and views of the local river landscapes. In the present painting, the artist focused once again on the banks of the Loing river, which flows into the Seine at Saint-Mammès and which he had already depicted several times from the 1880s onwards.

Richard Shone explains the reason for Sisley's fascination with the town of Moret and the surrounding area as follows: "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. Gathered in one spot were the motifs that had mesmerized him since he began to paint. Here were water, sky, reflections, a busy riverside; the multi-arched bridge was for the artist the last in a long line of such structures going back through Sèvres and St-Cloud and Hampton Court to Argenteuil and Villeneuve-la-Garenne. Here was that conjunction of man-made and natural, the interleaving of foliage and house fronts between sky and water" (Richard Shone, Sisley, London, 1992, p. 159).

Our painting is also exemplary of Alfred Sisley's oeuvre in the 1890s, as it clearly shows his turn towards a rich tonal palette and full, saturated shades of green. The loose brushwork that Sisley brought to the canvas ‘en plein air’ bears witness to a mature artist capturing the moment in his favourite place with passion and virtuosity.

“It is in Moret, amid this dense nature, with it's tall poplars and the beautiful, transparent, changing waters of the Loing…that my art has undoubtedly developed most; especially in the last three years…I will never really leave this little place that is so pictoresque” (Alfred Sisley in a letter to Adolphe Tavernier, 19 January 1892, in: exhib. cat. Alfred Sisley: Impressionist Master, Paris 2017, p. 164).

CHF 600 000 / 900 000

€ 560 750 / 841 120