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    Sale 7702

    Impressionist/Modern, Day Sale

    5 February 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 311

    Alfred Sisley (1839-1899)

    Chemin des Prés à Sèvres

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Alfred Sisley (1839-1899)
    Chemin des Prés à Sèvres
    signed and dated 'Sisley.79' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    15 x 21¼ in. (38.1 x 54.6 cm.)
    Painted in 1879


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    During the summer of 1877 Sisley moved from Marly-le-Roi to nearby Sèvres, a Parisian suburb famous for its royal porcelain factory, and remained there until early 1880. These years were among the most trying of his career; disappointed with the response to the third Impressionist group exhibition in 1877, Sisley submitted entries to the official Salon in 1879 only to be rejected. Having contravened the Impressionist group's rule against applying to the Salon, he was excluded from the fourth Impressionist exhibition of that same year, resulting in the further dwindling of his sales.

    The second half of the 1870s was a period of general reassessment for the Impressionists with each artist pursuing a more individualized style. Although the years at Sèvres brought significant financial hardship for Sisley and his family, they were also a period of unmatched creative success. To quote Christopher Lloyd, 'During the years when Sisley lived in Marly-le-Roi and Sèvres, he painted some of the finest pictures in his oeuvre' (Alfred Sisley, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1992, p. 149).

    Sisley's years at Sèvres marked a significant stylistic development in the painter's oeuvre despite remaining a true Impressionist painter with his enduring concern for light, colour and atmosphere. He replaced the short, regular brushstrokes and clearly modulated tones of his landscapes from the early 1870s with looser, freer and more rhythmical brushstrokes typical of his mature style. In Chemin des Prés à Sèvres, as with similar views that Sisley painted in 1879, he returned to the motif of a winding road as it acted as a ready fulcrum for a composition and lent itself especially well to his impulse for spatial organisation. The motif also invited a human presence into his pictures, a landscape convention to which Sisley held firm. The sense of movement created by the wind is palpable, as is Sisley's skill in portraying the effects of changing atmospheric conditions by quick application of staccato-like brushstrokes.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, by whom acquired directly from the artist in 1880.
    Paul Cassirer, Berlin, by whom acquired from the above on 28 August 1927.
    Galerie Moos, Geneva.
    Acquired from the above in 1949, and thence by descent to the present owner.


    Literature

    F. Daulte, Alfred Sisley, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Lausanne, 1959, no. 324 (illustrated).


    Exhibited

    Basel, Kunsthalle, Impressionisten, September - November 1949, no. 91.
    Berne, Kunstmuseum, Alfred Sisley, February - April 1958, no. 34 (illustrated pl. xiv).