Although very influential in English painting, Walter Sickert’s art is sometimes difficult to appreciate.
I look at his background as pupil of Whistler, his friendship with Degas and the development of his unique style. I present his superb paintings of the Victorian music halls, of Venice and his Camden Town nudes. A truly international figure, Sickert moved between London, Paris, Dieppe and Venice.
However in 1905 he settled in London and collected around him a group of young artists called the Camden Town Group – Spencer Gore, Harold Gilman, Charles Ginner, Malcolm Drummond, Robert Bevan and William Ratcliffe. Their colourful paintings of London life before 1914 including street scenes, theatres, restaurants, nudes in interiors and even the railways form the basis of this lecture.
The Camden Town painters were brilliant colourists and their subject matter is always interesting and contemporary. I feel that their work deserves to be better known not only for their intrinsic artistic value but also for their influence on later English painters like Peter Greenham and Bernard Dunstan.