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W R Sickert title graphic

British Painter {1860~1942}

Picture of W R Sickert by Gaynor
Sickert aged 76

Walter Sickert was one of the leading British Impressionists. He founded the Camden Town Group & later belonged to the London Group, the NEAC & the RA.

His palette was that of sombre colours & tones. Later on in his life they lightened considerably.
His paintings were often based upon Victorian publications. He was connected to the stage, & most of his finest works are of London music hall acts & their audiences.
Sickert often painted in Brighton, Bath, Dieppe & the seedier parts of London. He was implicated in the Jack the Ripper Case in 1888.
He lectured & wrote extensively on techniques & was published in numerous books & journals.

His paintings are scattered all over the United Kingdom as well as in Rouen, Dieppe, Melbourne & New York.

He died on 22nd January 1942.

He was an excellent painter & a master of etching. As Virginia Woolf said 'he makes us aware of beauty'. He was a very prolific author, ceaselessly taught & exhibited extensively, formed several art groups, owned or rented thirty-eight studios & premises between 1891 & 1942.

I have been researching Sickert for some years. People quote Whistler and other artists, but I felt that Sickert was being overshadowed somewhat. His writings and criticisms were so much wittier, and his bawdy, dry humour always enlightening. Dr. Anna Gruetzner Robins, lecturer in art history at Reading University is currently editing Sickert's Complete Art Criticism.

You can see dozens of Sickert's works online here at the BBC 'Your Paintings' website.

Recent Events



20 June to 11 July 2013
'Sickert: From Life' at the Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street, London W1S 2JT
An exhibition of fifty works by Sickert which presents a range of works from all periods of his career. Some rare paintings and prints appear as well as better known works including two etched versions of his masterpiece 'Ennui'.

16 March 2013 to 5 January 2014
'Music Hall: Sickert and the Three Graces' at the V&A South Kensington.
Explore the vibrant world of the Edwardian Music Hall. Spotlighting the Bedford Music Hall in Camden Town, this theatrical installation will feature paintings by W.R. Sickert, a new play by award-winning playwright Tanika Gupta, and a range of exhibits from the V&A's collection - including playbills, programmes, and music sheets.

March 2009
'Walter Sickert as Printmaker' was at The Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street, London W1S 2JT

March - May 2009
'Sickert in Venice' was at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London SE21

February - May 2008
Tate Britain mounted an exhibition called 'Modern Painters: The Camden Town Group' which included Spencer Gore, Harold Gilman, Robert Bevan, Charles Ginner & the star Walter Sickert.

October 2007 - January 2008
An exhibition of Sickert's 'Camden Town Nudes' at the Courtauld Institute Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, London.

October 2005 - January 2006
'Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec: London and Paris 1870-1910'
at Tate Britain curated by Dr. Anna Gruetzner Robins.

November 1999 - January 2000
London's Tate mounted an exhibition called 'The Art of Bloomsbury'.

This exhibition focused on the paintings of the Bloomsbury artists Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Roger Fry. It also included works by Walter Sickert, Dora Carrington, William Roberts, Henry Lamb, Picasso, Derain and Matisse.

June 2000
There was an exhibition of Walter Sickert's paintings, drawings and prints at The Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street, London W1

This was an 'amazing' exhibition. Incidentally there was one work by Whistler next to several fine works by his pupil Sickert.

The exhibition marked the publication of Walter Sickert: Prints by Ruth Bromberg the first catalogue raisonné of Sickert's work.

On show were some of Sickert's finest paintings, drawings, prints & some amusing letters & telegrams from Sickert. Several were to his long time friend actress Gwen Ffrangçon-Davies whom he met in 1932.

His first exhibited works were shown at the Fine Art Society in 1881.


The Burlington Magazine
The April 2006 (No. 1237 Volume CXLVIII) edition included articles about new technical evidence & newly discovered sources of the Music Hall & Theatre of Walter Sickert's drawings & paintings.

There is also an excellent review by James Beechey of the Matthew Sturgis book 'Walter Sickert. A Life'

In this edition there is also an obituary of Lillian Browse written by Wendy Baron. Browse's death is a sad loss to the art world. She was an admirer, and long time friend of Sickert.



An exciting group of works by W.R. Sickert has been presented to the Ashmolean Museum in the Sands Gallery. There are eight paintings, a pastel & a drawing - all given to the Museum by the Christopher Sands Trust. They include the first version of Brighton Pierrots (1915), Self-Portrait with the bust of Tom Sayers (1913-1915), the pastel version of Noctes Ambrosianae (1906) & a drawing for Tipperary or The Baby Grand (1914).

This group is part of the collection formed by Morton & Ethel Sands.

The new Gallery also displays important works by Picasso, Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Stanley Spencer, Epstein & Frink. They are specially designed display cases which not only contain sculpture but also incorporate drawers for light sensitive works on paper such as the studies for Sickert's much loved Ennui, drawings by Henry Moore & the wood engravings by Gertrude Hermes & Blair Hughes Stanton.



October - December 2004

'drawing is the thing' Whitworth Art Gallery at the University of Manchester


July - Oct 2004

An exhibition of Walter Richard Sickert paintings: 'The Human Canvas' was at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria UK


James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 - 1903)
American-born painter & graphic artist.

Sickert ran into Whistler by chance in 1882. Sickert became his pupil & assistant.

2003 was the centenary of the death of Whistler.

The Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow holds one of the largest collections of his work. Events were held throughout the centenary year.

The Hunterian Gallery site offers an online catalogue of Whistler's works and much more about the artist.

You can see a dozen or so of Whistler's works online here at the BBC 'Your Paintings' website. 



Recommended Books

My list of recommended books by and about Sickert may be found in the Well Furlong Book Shop. If you so wish, you may go on to buy many of the volumes in our Book Shop directly from either Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk by clicking on the appropriate flag next to a title.



Walter Sickert

  Sickert's life and influences. Actor turned painter, writer, teacher and more.
  Sickert's painting methods.
  Where Sickert's paintings may be seen.
  Sources of information about Sickert
Recommended Books
  The Well Furlong Book Shop page dedicated to books by and about Sickert.

Other Artists

Francis Bacon
  British painter (1909 - 1992)
Lucian Freud
  British painter (1922 - 2011 )
Maggi Hambling
  British Painter (1945 - )


Tate Online
  The Tate has a number of Sickert's paintings, many of which may be viewed online.
Ashmolean Museum
  A group of works by W R Sickert at the Sands Gallery.
Courtauld Institute
  Links to major museums and galleries, and other art resources.
University of Reading
  Sickert received an honorary D.Litt in March 1938 from the University of Reading.
Visit this site for more research on Sickert and the history of art.
BBC 'Your Paintings'
  You can see dozens of Sickert's works online at the BBC 'Your Paintings' website.
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Updated 20th June 2013