This painting will be included in the new edition of the Catalogue Raisonné of Alfred Sisley by François Daulte now being prepared by the Comité Sisley.
Like Monet, Sisley was fascinated by the concept of executing compositions in a sequence, capturing the changing conditions of light and weather on a single motif at different times of the day and year. Here, he paints the town of Moret on a brisk, moody morning in autumn. The expansive sky is the palest of blues with wispy clouds. The trees are bare and spindly, their discarded leaves rendered in dabs of pink, brown, and gold on the riverbank in the foreground. The river itself is choppy and gray, with rhythmic horizontal brushstrokes suggesting overlapping layers of water and reflection. The critic Adolphe Tavernier lauded Sisley in his funeral oration for the artist as "a magician of light, a poet of the heavens, of the waters, of the trees - in a word, one of the most remarkable landscapists of his day" (quoted in M. Stevens, ed., Alfred Sisley, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1992, p. 28).
Sisley had first visited Moret-sur-Loing in 1879 and settled there permanently a decade later. He was captivated by the picturesque town and tried to persuade his friend Monet to join him: "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 ibid., p. 184). Moret also provided Sisley with a rich array of artistic motifs, from the medieval church and the Porte de Bourgogne, to the stately avenues of poplars and the humble wash-houses on the banks of the Loing. In the present picture, he depicts one of his favorite local subjects: the Provencher mill, which stands in the center of the long stone bridge linking the town center with the road to Saint-Mammès.