In the 1870s, Sisley, like his colleagues Monet and Pissarro, often painted the roads, bridges, and waterways linking Paris with the rapidly suburbanizing villages to the north and west. This picture depicts a site near the town of Louveciennes, on the main thoroughfare between Versailles and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Sisley's juxtaposition of two figures on the road—a laborer pushing a cart and a man wearing a sophisticated black suit and top hat—evokes the contrast between old-fashioned country life and modern urban society. The loose, summary brushwork is characteristic of Sisley’s technique in the latter part of the decade.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): ·Sisley.
[Durand-Ruel, New York, after 1879; sold to Davis]; Erwin Davis, New York (until 1899; sold on April 14 to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, New York, 1899–at least 1947]; [Sam Salz, New York]; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Rodgers, New York (by 1959–64; his life interest, 1964–d. 1972; her life interest, 1964–d. 1992)
New York. Durand-Ruel Galleries. "Exhibition of Paintings by Alfred Sisley, 1839–1899," April 19–May 3, 1927, no. 7 (as "Une route près de Louveciennes").
New York. Durand-Ruel Galleries. "Alfred Sisley: Centennial, 1840–1940," October 2–21, 1939, no. 16 [see Sterling and Salinger 1967].
New York. M. Knoedler & Co. "Early Impressionism: 1868–1883," March 31–April 12, 1941, no. 25.
Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Skidmore Art Gallery. "Exhibition of Modern French Paintings: drawings, lithographs, etchings, fine printing and bookbinding," February 8–25, 1942, no. 10 [see Durand-Ruel 1947].
Lincoln. University of Nebraska. "56th Anniversary Exhibition," 1946, no. 199 [see Durand-Ruel 1947].
Hartford. Wadsworth Atheneum. "Music Makers," July 9–August 9, 1959, no. 16 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Rodgers).
New York. Paul Rosenberg & Co. "Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Alfred Sisley, 1839–1899," October 30–November 25, 1961, no. 12 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Rodgers).
Fort Lauderdale. Museum of Art. "Corot to Cézanne: 19th Century French Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," December 22, 1992–April 11, 1993, no catalogue.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 82.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.
Exhibition of Paintings by Alfred Sisley, 1839–1899. Exh. cat., Durand-Ruel. New York, 1927, unpaginated, no. 7, dates it 1875.
Durand-Ruel. 19th and 20th Century French Paintings, 20th Century American Paintings. Vol. 1, New York, 1947, unpaginated, ill.
François Daulte. Alfred Sisley: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Lausanne, 1959, unpaginated, no. 381, ill., includes it with works from 1879.
François Daulte. Letter to Margaretta Salinger. June 15, 1965, explains that it is dated 1879 on stylistic grounds.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, p. 120, ill.
Jacques G. Laÿ. Letter to Anne Wagner. November 1, 1979, believe that it was painted in 1879; identify this as the road from Versailles to Saint Germain, today Route Nationale 186.
Kathryn Calley Galitz inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 118, 258, no. 82, ill. (color and black and white).
Artist: Alfred Sisley (British, Paris 1839–1899 Moret-sur-Loing)Date: 1895–97Medium: Three separate sheets of varying sizes, with the same mediums and supports: graphite and colored crayon on buff wove paper, darkenedAccession: 1975.1.727On view in:Not on view