Lot 45
  • 45

Alfred Sisley

Estimate
600,000 - 800,000 USD
Sold
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Description

  • Alfred Sisley
  • Les Pommiers en fleurs
  • Signed Sisley and dated 90 (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 14 7/8 by 21 5/8 in.
  • 37.9 by 54.8 cm

Provenance

Christian Otto Zieseniss (acquired prior to 1929)

Catalogue Note

Sisley's radiant depiction of an apple tree in bloom dates from his time in Moret.  Sisley settled permanently in Moret-sur-Loing in 1889, and he devoted himself over the next several years to investigating the rich topography of the land as it changed from season to season.  The present picture exemplifies his interest in the temporality of nature, as few things in nature are more fleeting than the blooms of springtime.

Although Sisley is regarded as one of the great landscape painters among the Impressionists, the artist spoke often about his indebtedness to the Barbizon School of painters and their rejection of the academic tradition.   Like the Impressionists, the Barbizon artists depicted the natural world with an approach that was more true to life, devoid of any historical narrative.  When posed the question about his favorite artists in 1892, Sisley did not hesitate to name his Barbizon precedessors and their faithful approach to rendering the natural world: "What artists do I love? To take just the contemporaries: Delacroix, Corot, Millet, Tousseau, Courbet, our masters.  All who have loved Nature and felt strongly"  (quoted in Mary Anne Stevens, Alfred Sisley (exhibition catalogue), The Royal Academy of Arts, London,  1992, p. 212).

This composition is listed in the Zieseniss archives by 1929, and it has never been exhibited by the family.   One might presume that this is one of the pictures that Christian Otto Zieseniss acquired at Galeries Georges Petit, as he was an investor in the gallery and is known to have acquired many pictures at this venue.

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