N08789

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Lot 10
  • 10

Alfred Sisley

Estimate
2,000,000 - 3,000,000 USD
Sold
2,826,500 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Alfred Sisley
  • Saint-Mammès, Le matin
  • Signed Sisley (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas

Provenance

Josse & Gaston Bernheim-Jeune, Paris

Galeries Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (acquired from the above May 3, 1912) 

Collection Hirsch (acquired from the above on May 4, 1912 and sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 7, 1912, lot 46)

Félix Gérard (acquired at the above sale)

Bernheim-Jeune, Paris

Paul Cassirer, Berlin (acquired from the above)

Max Emden, Hamburg (sold: Ball und Graupe, Berlin, June 9, 1931, lot 49)

Siegfried Arndt, Berlin and New York (probably acquired at the above sale or in the early 1930s)

Estate of Siegfried Arndt

Knoedler and Co. and Henry Pearlman, New York (acquired from the above in 1958)

William A. Coolidge, Boston (acquired from the above on March 24, 1959) 

Acquired as a bequest from the above on January 27, 1993

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Exposition d'oeuvres d'Alfred Sisley, 1917, no. 7

London, Royal Academy of Arts; Paris, Musée d'Orsay & Baltimore, The Walters Art Gallery, Sisley, 1992-93, no. 52, illustrated in color in the catalogue

London, Hayward Gallery, Landscapes in France: Impressionism and its Rivals, 1995, no. 99, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Alfred Sisley: Poeta dell'impressionismo, 2002, no. 40, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Las Vegas, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Claude Monet 1840-1926: Masterworks from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2004-05

Rimini, Rocca Malatestiana, Museum of Fine Arts Highlights, 2009-10

Tokyo, Mori Arts Center Gallery & Kyoto, Municipal Museum of Art, European Masterpieces, 2010 

Literature

François Daulte, Alfred Sisley, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, 1959, no. 421, illustrated

Peter C. Sutton, The William Appleton Coolidge Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1995, no. 18, illustrated p. 87

Marco Goldin, Monet: la Senna le ninfee, Conegliano, 2004, illustrated p. 76

Catalogue Note

Sisley's exquisite morning view of the town of Saint-Mammès, seen here at the confluence of the Loing and the Seine, is a radical departure from traditional landscape painting.  Sisley has selected the site for its sharp tonal and textural contrasts, emphasizing the interplay among the elements of the landscape rather than focusing on any one element.  The result is a composition that calls attention to the coexistence of opposing forces in nature.  For example, the upper half of the canvas is devoted to a tranquil sky scene, while the bottom resonates with the motion of the converging currents of the two rivers and the wind-blown tall grass in the immediate foreground.  In the middle distance, we see the town of Saint-Mammès, slowly coming to life with morning activity.  It is not the village that drew Sisley's attention in this composition, but rather the compelling juxtaposition of frenzy and peacefulness that this part of the country had to offer.

Writing about the landscapes of France in the 1995 exhibition catalogue, John House made the following observations about Saint-Mammès, Le matin:  "[T]he grasses across the foreground are a dense and lavish array of colours and textures.  The touches of white and red suggest flowers, but the clear blues are more ambiguous: do they, too, stand for flowers, or are they introduced in order to create an atmospheric harmony with the rich blues of water, sky and shadows?  Throughout, warm and cool hues are played off against each other:  emphatic reds and pinks on the far roofs and along the bank on the right strengthen the effect of blue.  Tonal contrasts also play a part, in the forms of the buildings and boats across the background and the distribution of light amid the grasses at the front" (J. House in Landscapes in France (exhibition catalogue), op. cit. p. 262).

Saint-Mammès, Le matin was brought to the United States in the 1930s by the German collector Siegfried Arndt, who kept it until his death in 1958.  The picture was sold from Arndt's estate in New York that same year and eventually was purchased by the prominent Bostonian, William Appleton Coolidge, who donated the picture to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1993.  Since then, it has been featured in exhibitions throughout the world and recognized as a superb example of Sisley's Impressionist technique at the prime of his career.

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