The Road from Versailles to Louveciennes

Alfred Sisley (British, Paris 1839–1899 Moret-sur-Loing)

probably 1879
Oil on canvas
18 x 22 in. (45.7 x 55.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Rodgers, 1964
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    In the 1870s, Sisley, like his fellow Impressionists Monet and Pissarro, painted in the villages to the north and west of Paris, which were rapidly becoming suburbs of the capital. The landscapes by the three artists often depicted the roads, bridges, and waterways that linked these outlying villages with Paris.

    The site in this painting is the main road between Versailles and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Sisley's juxtaposition of two figures on the road—a rural laborer pushing a cart and a man clad in the urban "uniform" of black suit and top hat—alludes to the transformative effects of industrialization and suburbanization on the French countryside. Sisley's loose, summary technique in this work is in keeping with his style of the late 1870s, as he moved away from the broken brushwork of his earlier Impressionist paintings.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower left): ·Sisley.

  • Provenance

    [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)

  • Exhibition History

    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 Ref. 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, New York," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.

  • References

    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. 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. "XIX–XX Centuries." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 3, 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 in The 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).

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History