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 Sisley, Alfred (French and British painter, 1839-1899) , The Church at Moret in the Rain

Core Record

Title The Church at Moret in the Rain
Original Translation La Vieille Eglise de Moret par la Pluie - Côte du Transept
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Sisley, Alfred (French and British painter, 1839-1899)
Date 1894 (dated)
Signed yes
Description Sisley was the son of English parents but spent his career in France. He studied with Monet and Renoir and first exhibited with the Impressionists in 1874. In the 1890s, Sisley made a large series of paintings of the medieval parish church at Moret exploring different light effects. Close in conception to Monet's more famous views of Rouen Cathedral, Sisley's series failed to attract the same interest. The few that did sell realised low prices - 300 francs compared with 15,000 francs for Monet's.

Sisley died in 1899, embittered and in poverty. Monet arranged a studio sale for the benefit of Sisley's wife and children ; it included this painting which ironically sold for 3.000 francs.

Like his fellow Impressionists, Sisley was interested in capturing the atmospheric effect of wet surfaces reflecting light. Although the massive transept of the church is depicted on a dull, wet day, the walls and pavements shimmer with tones of blue and violet. Sisley was the only Impressionist to devote himself wholly to the study of landscape, possibly a result of his English ancestry and known admiration for Constable, Turner and Bonington.

Current Accession Number 1948P26
Former Accession Number P.26´48
Inscription front ll 'Sisley 94'
Subject buildings and gardens;place (Moret Church, France)
Measurements 73.0 x 60 cm.0 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by the Public Picture Gallery Fund 1948.
Provenance Sisley studio sale, George Petit Gallery, Paris, 1 May 1899, no. 15; Lacroix, Paris; Lacroix sale, Hotel Drouot, Paris, 12 April 1902, no. 62; Ernest Cognacz, Paris; Alfred Baillehache-Lamotte, Paris; Madame Jos Hessel, Paris; Etienne Bignou, Paris; Alex Reid & Lefeve, London, 1948; Captain S. W. Sykes.
Principal Exhibitions Exposition des Impressionistes, Durand Ruel, Paris, 1901; Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, Galerie Barbazanges, Paris, 1920; Peintres de l'Ecole Francaise du XIXe Siècle, Galerie Knoedler, Paris, 1924, cat. no. 18; Paintings by Sisley, Galerie Jos. Hessel, London, Paris; French Impressionist PaintingLefevre Gallery, London, 1926; Landscape in French Art, Royal Academy, London, 1949-50, cat. no. 263; Pictures from Birmingham, Agnew's, London, 1957, cat. no. 12; Alfred Sisley - Impressionist Landscapes, University Art Gallery, Nottingham, 1971, cat. no. 14; Impressionism, Royal Academy, London, 1974, cat. no. 113; Retrospective: Alfred Sisley, Tokyo, Isetan Museum of Art (touring), 1985, cat. no. 48; French Impressionism: Treasures of the Midlands, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 1991, cat. no. 36; Alfred Sisley 1839-1899, Royal Academy of Arts, London, (touring), 1992, cat. no. 71D; Alfred Sisley, Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo, (touring), 2000, cat. no. 52; Alfred Sisley: Poet of Impressionism, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara, (touring), 2002, no. 64 (touring); Monet et ses amis, Musée des Beaux Arts, Budapest, 2004, cat. no. 98.
Publications Reuterswaerd, O., 'A Study of the Church at Moret Series', Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1952, pp. 199-200; Daulte, F., Alfred Sisley. Catalogue Raisonné, 1959, p. 834; Catalogue of Paintings in Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, 1960; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 135; Cogniat, R., Sisley, 1992, p. 68.
Notes Inscriptions: stretcher - mortise and tenon with keys, one central horizontal cross member w. 4.5 cm, t. 1.5 cm. Top stretcher member - '14980'; '2406'. Central stretcher member - '3334', '6576'; '9362'; '54/47'; '5616', '4536'. Possibly the artist's handwriting: 'Une Vieille Eglise par la pluie (Cote du transept). Wood stamp, 'Mosele Depose'. Circular customs stamp on canvas, ul, 'DOUANE CENTRAL'. On back of canvas '20' (standard French canvas size 73cm x 60cm)
Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth
 

 

 

 

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