Lot 36
  • 36

Alfred Sisley

Estimate
700,000 - 900,000 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Alfred Sisley
  • Lavandières près de Champagne
  • signed Sisley (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 60 by 73cm.
  • 23 5/8 by 28 3/4 in.

Provenance

Amante, Paris

Galerie Philippe Reichenbach, Houston (acquired in 1959)

Lloyd H. Smith, Houston (acquired from the above)

Exhibited

Houston, Museum of Fine Arts, Sunlight on Leaves: The Impressionist Tradition, 1981, no. 4

Catalogue Note

For Sisley, the relationship between land, water and sky was a subject of endless fascination and views of rivers surrounded by lush nature account for a large portion of his painterly output. Lavandières près de Champagne is, however, a rare depiction of a landscape animated by a group of washerwomen going about their daily activity by the river bank. The scene was painted near the village of Champagne, a region he would depict again in the 1880s. In choosing the subject of washerwomen, Sisley is drawing from the tradition established by nineteenth-century and Impressionist painters, particularly Renoir, who returned to this theme several times throughout his career (fig. 1).

 

Christopher Lloyd wrote about the stylistic development in Sisley’s painting at this time: ‘The compositions after 1876 tended to become more complex with less emphasis on recession and balance. Instead, the overlaying of the various parts of a composition and the creation of an interlocking pattern began to absorb his attention […]. At the same time, a greater variety enters Sisley’s technique. The short soft-edges square brushstrokes of earlier years that resulted in an even surface on the canvas were replaced by heavily-worked, more intricate textures comprising a large range of brushstrokes. […] Concomitant with these richly textured surfaces was a greater sophistication in the application of colour. The tonal qualities of the paintings of the early 1870s accorded well with Sisley’s composition principles of those years, but now the greater intensity and wider range of colour, as in the work of Monet and Renoir, matched the more agitated character of the brushwork’ (C. Lloyd in Alfred Sisley (exhibition catalogue), Royal Academy of Arts, London; Musée d’Orsay, Paris & The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, 1992-93, p. 151).

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