ALFRED SISLEY (1839-1899)
ALFRED SISLEY (1839-1899)
ALFRED SISLEY (1839-1899)
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ALFRED SISLEY (1839-1899)
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ALFRED SISLEY (1839-1899)

Moret-sur-Loing au soleil couchant

ALFRED SISLEY (1839-1899)
Moret-sur-Loing au soleil couchant
signed and dated 'Sisley. 92.' (lower right)
oil on canvas
25 3/8 x 32 1/4 in. (65.6 x 81.6 cm.)
Painted in 1892
Estate of the artist; sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1 May 1899, lot 9.
Galerie Bernheim-Jeune et Cie., Paris (acquired at the above sale).
M. Baillache, Paris.
Galerie Georges Petit, Paris (by January 1920).
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York (acquired from the above).
Francis Ropes Huntington, Columbus (acquired from the above, January 1921).
Gretchen Frantz Runkle, Columbus (by 1963); Estate sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, Inc., New York, 20 May 1982, lot 198.
Acquired by Ann and Gordon Getty at the above sale.
F. Daulte, Alfred Sisley: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Lausanne, 1959, no. 790 (illustrated).
S. Brame and F. Lorenceau, Alfred Sisley: Catalogue critique des peintures et des pastels, Paris, 2021, pp. 337 and 498, no. 904 (illustrated in color).
Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Alfred Sisley, February 1897, p. 31, no. 41 (titled Moret au soleil couchant).
Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Paintings from Columbus Homes, February-March 1963, no. 58 (titled Trees by a River).
London, Royal Academy of Arts; Paris, Musée d'Orsay and Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, Alfred Sisley, July 1992-June 1993, pp. 184, 226 and 267, no. 66 (illustrated in color, p. 267).

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Lot Essay

The present work, painted in 1892, depicts a view of the Loing river at Moret, a picturesque medieval town near the Forest of Fontainebleau where Sisley lived for much of the final two decades of his life. First moving to the town in 1882, he described the area enthusiastically to his friend Claude Monet: “Moret is just 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?” (quoted in Alfred Sisley, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1992, p. 184).
The same year the present work was painted, the artist wrote, “It is at Moret, in this thickly wooded countryside with its tall poplars, the waters of the river Loing here, so beautiful, so translucent, so changeable; at Moret my art has undoubtedly developed the most...I will never really leave this little place that is so picturesque” (quoted in R. Shone, Sisley, London, 1992, p. 123).
During his time there, Sisley painted the Loing river and the town from every possible angle, shifting his position or simply adjusting his sight line to create a veritable map of the vicinity of the Moret in varying seasons and weather conditions. To paint the present canvas, Sisley set up his easel on the right bank of the Loing immediately upstream from Moret, at the very edge of the river. Here, the historic center of the town is visible in the distance. The Porte de Bourgogne, a twelfth-century gateway that stands at the western end of the span and marks the entrance to Moret itself, is silhouetted against the sky. Just in front of the façade are the stately arches of the bridge linking Moret with the road to Saint-Mammès—one of Sisley’s favored subject of the region. At the left edge of the composition is the Provencher watermill, which occupies the center of the Pont de Moret.
Lining the architecture, to the left of the Porte de Bourgogne is a series of tall trees rising above the rooftops, their height and verticality contrasting with the low, horizontal expanse of the cubic buildings. Behind, the sun sets in a dazzling array of blue, pink and yellow hues. The freshness of the dusk light complements the cool shadows that envelop the town, reminiscent of a breezy summer night by the river. Below the tree line and at the edge of the town, the fragmented reflections of the setting sun play across the light-dappled surface of the water.
Christopher Lloyd has written, "These paintings show him at the height of his powers. All the experience of the previous decades was blended in these canvases, which amount to the summation of his output: the paint is richly applied with the impasto more pronounced than in previous works, the brushwork more insistently rhythmical, the execution more rapid, and the colors more vibrant" (ibid., p. 25).
Moret-sur-Loing au soleil couchant was first exhibited in 1897 with the Galerie Georges Petit, who shortly thereafter sold the work during the artist’s Estate sale. It was acquired by Ann and Gordon Getty in 1982, and has remained in their collection ever since.

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