François Daulte will include this painting in the forthcoming supplement to his Sisley catalogue raisonné.
In 1889 Sisley left Veneux to settle in Moret-sur-Loing, a small village about twenty miles south-east of Paris where he lived until his death in 1899. The beauty of this region is well-chronicled:
It is essentially an Impressionist place with the gentle light of the Ile-de-France, the soft colors and the constantly changing skies of northern France. There are green woods and pastures, curving tree-lined banks of rivers, canals and narrow streams, wide stretches of river where the Loing joins the Seine at Saint-Mammès, old stone houses, churches and bridges. (V. Couldry, Alfred Sisley: The English Impressionist, London, 1992, p. 68)
Elsewhere, the appeal of Moret has been described as resting not so much on the town itself, but on the landscape surrounding it and on the view which 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 each side of 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 explained, "a captivating picture," a sight "worthy of the brush." (R. Shone, Sisley, New York, 1992, p. 159)
With its clear blue sky, its sun-dappled foliage and its broad swath of rippling water, the present picture clearly indicates the pleasure which Sisley took in the landscape near Moret. Moreover, it epitomizes the gentle beauty of Sisley's late work, the work of an artist whom John Rewald has eloquently described as "a subtle poet and dreamer...at his best when he abandoned himself to the delicacy of his perceptions" (J. Rewald, The History of Impressionism, New York, 1961, p. 576).