1839 - 1899
Le Pont de Moret, 1890
Signed and dated lower right 'Sisley 90'
Oil on canvas
15 x 18 1/8 in, 38 x 46 cm
Alfred Sisley was one of the core group of Impressionist painters that exhibited together for the first time in 1874, beside Monet, Degas, Renoir and Pissarro. The son of two...
Alfred Sisley was one of the core group of Impressionist painters that exhibited together for the first time in 1874, beside Monet, Degas, Renoir and Pissarro. The son of two British émigrés living, Sisley trained in Paris and spent much of his life in France where he painted idyllic landscapes en plein air of the changing effects of light through the seasons.
Sisley settled in the small village of Moret-sur-Loing on the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau in February 1880 where he discovered a picturesque array of rustic homes beside a river peppered with traditional mills and poplar trees. Sisley was so enamoured with the place, that he wrote to Monet a year later encouraging him to visit: “Moret is 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?” Other Impressionists who were drawn to the village included Camille Pissarro, who painted several works from Moret between 1901 and 1902. For Sisley, the winding river and unsettled northern skies of Moret-sur-Loing offered an abundance of Impressionist motifs, which captivated the artist’s attention until his death in 1899.
Sisley’s tranquil scene ‘Le Pont de Moret’ pictures the bridge that connects the historic village-centre to the road to Saint-Mammés. Sisley painted several images along the banks of the Loing river from varying viewpoints, capturing the dancing reflections and play of early morning light across the water in lively strokes of bright yellow, green and purple. The light touches of Sisley’s brush in the present painting conjures the sense of the breeze moving swiftly across the river into the trees. Other key examples of this scene at the bridge at Moret can be found in major public collections including Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis; Musée d’Orsay, Paris and Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Genève, Geneva. This example was exhibited at the Bern Museum of Fine Art’s major retrospective of Sisley’s work in 1958.
While Sisley’s seclusion in the French countryside separated him from the Impressionist group, he continued to engage with wider artistic trends. During the 1880s Sisley was invited to exhibit with the provocative Belgian group of painters Les Vingt (1888) and the pivotal Impressionist dealer Durand-Ruel introduced his work to America with his first solo exhibition (1889). Into the 1890s Sisley became a celebrated member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and was the subject of a major solo show at Galeries Georges Petit (1893).
Mme. L. Ferrey, Paris
Sales: Georges Petit, Paris, 18 April 1921, lot 39
Collection of M. Darier, Geneva (acquired from the above and thence by descent)
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. G. Grosjean-Darier, Geneva
Sale: Christie's, London, Impressionist & Modern Paintings & Sculpture, 30 March 1987, lot 8 (sold by the above)
Private Collection, Italy
Geneva, Musée Rath, Trésors des collections romandes, 26 June - 3 October 1954, no.128
Bern, Kunstmuseum, Alfred Sisley, 16 February - 13 April 1958, no.82
F. Daulte, Alfred Sisley, catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Editions Durand-Ruel, Lausanne, 1959, illus. no.721