Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the artist in 1881)
H. Vever, Paris (acquired from the above in 1893 and sold: Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, February 1-2, 1897, lot 109)
M. Behrend (acquired at the above sale)
Léon Orosdi (sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, March 25, 1923, lot 67)
Rosenberg & Stiebel, New York
Edmund Drummond Libbey, Ohio
Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio (acquired from the above in 1952 and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 7, 2006, lot 4)
Acquired at the above sale
New York, Paul Rosenberg & Co., Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Alfred Sisley, 1961, no. 14, illustrated in the catalogue
New York, Wildenstein Gallery, Alfred Sisley, 1839-1889, 1966, no. 46, illustrated in the catalogue
Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Museum of Art, The Crisis of Impressionism, 1878-1882, 1979, no. 51, illlustrated in the catalogue
Memphis, The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Degas and His Friends, 1986, no. 40, illustrated in the catalogue
B. Bibb, "The Work of Alfred Sisley," The Studio, London, December 1899, illustrated p. 154
Gustave Geffroy, Sisley, Paris, 1923, illustrated pl. 20
Gustave Geffroy, Sisley, Paris, 1927, illustrated pl. 52
François Daulte, Alfred Sisley, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, 1959, no. 397, illustrated (with the measurements 54 by 73 cm)
The Toledo Museum of Art, European Paintings, Toledo, 1976, illustrated pl. 252
Quintessentially Impressionist, Un Noyer dans la prairie de Thomery is a brilliant example of Sisley's landscape painting. Sisley depicts here the township of Thomery along the Seine, a particularly lush area stretching between the Fontainebleau forest and the river. Sisley spent three years painting these environs in the early 1880s, and his fascination with the place perhaps can be summarized by a contemporary nature enthusiast who described the area in the following terms: "The Seine is superb... broad unmoving expanses of water stretch out between high wooded slopes, the branches coming right down to the river" (quoted in R. Shone, Sisley, New York, 1992, p. 129). The large walnut tree at the center of the composition allows Sisley to display the virtuosic interplay of light and shadow that distinguishes Impressionist masterworks.
Richard Shone writes of Sisley's endless fascination with the banks of the Seine, and how the seasonal variations of the area presented him with opportunities to broaden his aesthetic: "Sisley worked in all seasons and weathers along this beautiful and still unspoilt bank of the Seine. Its topography gave him new configurations of space in which far horizons combined with plunging views below; the horizontals of the skyline, riverbank and receding path are overlaid by emphatic verticals and diagonals to produce densely structured surfaces. This becomes particularly evident in his landscapes painting in winter and early spring, before summer foliage obscured these far-reaching lines of vision. It is then, too, that Sisley's skies assume greater variety and grandeur" (R. Shone, Sisley, New York, 1992, p. 135).
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