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The Church at Moret in the Morning Sun

Alfred Sisley

(1839 - 1899) | 909.1.47

Date : 1893 | Medium : Oil on canvas

In November 1889 Sisley settled permanently in Moret-sur-Loing (Seine-et-Marne) and lived there until his death in 1899, in a modest house with a little garden below the beautiful Gothic church.

Between 1893 and 1894 he painted twelve pictures of the church, more or less from the same angle, showing the West entrance and the Southern wall of the nave at different times of year and in different weather conditions, echoing Monet’s work in trying to capture the ever-changing façade of Rouen Cathedral during the same period.

Whereas Monet de-structured his subject in order to explore all its chromatic vibrations, Sisley's profound respect for the architectural qualities of the monument led him to analyse it both in its volume and its details. The colour variations that he brings out are rational responses to what his eyes actually see; the poetry of his vision remains a faithful reproduction of his subject's natural luminosity – a far cry from Monet's visions of mirages.