Making an Impression

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The Kimbell Art Museum recently purchased Alfred Sisley’s The Kitchen Garden, an early impressionist landscaped painted in 1872.

“More than any other work in the museum, Kitchen Garden reflects the impressionists’ fascination for bright chromatic painting,” said Lee. “In its seemingly random, every day, domestic subject, it adds a new dimension to the mix of themes represented in our holdings. And in its evocation of a country garden beneath an almost cloudless garden beneath an almost cloudless summer sky, the painting now ranks among the most joyful in the museum’s collection.”

Alfred Sisley’s oil painting The Kitchen Garden, originally titled Flower Garden, entered Paul Durand-Ruel’s collection in 1909. It was purchased in July at an auction in London for $3,481,101.

“This brings so much dimension to our collection. It’s got everything you want in a classic impressionist landscape of the 1870s,” Lee said. “I think it will be a real crowd pleaser.”

The painting illustrates a garden full of flowers and vegetables accompanied by a gardener’s green house and shed in an ordinary backyard behind a suburban residence.

It seems as if, Sisley painted this inside his house while looking out his own window. In fact Sisley’s father manufactured artificial silk flowers, and he spent most of his working career in small towns along the French rivers Seine and Loing.

While attending art school in Paris, Sisley met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frederic Bazille and Claude Monet, who later introduced him to Durand-Ruel’s in 1872 when he created The Kitchen Garden.

“It is from the high point of Sisley’s career and one of his greatest landscapes,” said Lee. “It will bring a lot of light and color into our galleries.

Published by: Fort Worth Magazine

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