The Loing River at Moret,1891
Oil on Canvas
Collection of the McNay Art Museum, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Frederic G. Oppenheimer.
Quiet and serene, Sisley’s depiction of the Loing River captures a warm and sunny day in the countryside. The sky is bright blue with fluffy clouds, and the trees are lush and green on both sides of a lazy river moving so slowly that it crisply reflects the small buildings in the distance on its surface. One might expect to see people out enjoying such a beautiful day, but the painting is devoid of human figures, perhaps a commentary on the fact that people were leaving their rural homes in droves to seek work in the bustling cities. Although the cities presented great opportunities, they were also dirty, overcrowded, and dangerous. Peaceful paintings of the country, such as Sisley’s Loing River, reflect a nostalgia for the “good old days” of idealized rural life.