Howard Young Galleries, New York
Martha A. Alford, Boston (acquired from the above. Sold by her estate: Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, 21st March 1962, lot 68)
Carrie S. Beinecke, New York (sold by her estate: Christie's, New York, 18th October 1977, lot 21)
Geraldine Coles, USA (sold: Sotheby’s, London, 5th December 1979, lot 14)
Galerie Daniel Malingue, Paris (purchased at the above sale)
Private Collection, Switzerland
The Lefevre Gallery (Alex Reid & Lefevre), London (acquired in 1984)
Jonathan Clark Ltd., London (acquired from the above in 1984)
Acquired from the above by the present owner circa 1988
Sisley first moved with his family to Veneux-Nadon near Moret-sur-Loing in 1880 and continued to live in that area for the rest of his life, moving several times between the two villages. The local scenery offered a constant source of inspiration to the artist, who tried to capture the relationship between land, water and sky as well as the changing effects of light on his surroundings. In her discussion of Sisley’s paintings executed in this region, Vivienne Couldrey noted: ‘It is an essentially Impressionist place with the gentle light of the Ile de France, the soft colours and the constantly changing skies of northern France. There are green woods and pastures, curving tree-lined banks of rivers, canals and narrow streams, wide stretches of the river where the Loing joins the Seine at Saint-Mammès, old stone houses, churches and bridges’ (V. Couldrey, Alfred Sisley, The English Impressionist, Exeter, 1992, p. 68).
The first recorded owner of Les bords du Loing à Moret was the British-American collector Desmond Fitzgerald (1846-1926). A successful engineer, Fitzgerald helped build railroads in the West and later played key roles in the development of water works in major American cities. He was an early supporter of both French and American Impressionists and became a friend of Monet, whom he frequently visited at Giverny. Next to his home in Brookline, Massachusetts Fitzgerald built a gallery that housed his extensive art collection and was frequently open to the public (fig. 1). After his death in 1926, Fitzgerald’s collection, including the present work as well as paintings by Monet, Renoir, Degas and Pissarro, was sold in a two-day auction in New York in April 1927, and his gallery was later converted into a church which operates to this day.
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