Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942) is one of the great figures of British painting. He is perhaps most famous for his depictions of the music hall, its artistes, audience and elaborate interiors; and for his vibrant views of Venice and Dieppe. In recent years his later works - portraits and scenes from contemporary theatre - have gained him new admirers. Sickert's range of subject was enormous and his technical achievement both searching and progressive. Too long regarded as simply a follower of the Impressionists he has now come to be seen to have strong affinities with a wide range of artists - from Hogarth to Keene, from nineteenth-century German illustrators to Rouault and Munch. He embraced formal portraiture and idyllic landscape, controversial domestic scenes (such as Camden Town Murder), and memorable portrayals of public figures, the canals of Venice, the old streets of Dieppe and of England in the 1930s. There have been numerous exhibitions of Sickert's work since his death but the last full-scale retrospective in London was over thirty years ago. This publication coincides with, and serves as the catalogue of, a major retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. It includes essays on Sickert's artistic context and influence, the history of the music hall, and Sickert's interest in conventional theatre in the 1930s. Written by the foremost experts on Sickert and his period, this book is a richly illustrated complement to the exhibition, exploring all its themes in detail.
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