Walter Richard has been described as one of the most important of the British Impressionists though to me his work could hardly be called full-on Impressionism. The main influences on his work were those he knew, Whistler and Degas.
He was an artist with no real interest in the countryside. He painted the London music halls and their audiences, the shabbier parts of not just London but places like Dieppe and Venice.
In 1911 he founded the Camden Town Group and later belonged to the London Group,
the NEAC and the RA, though he resigned from there.
He made extensive use of studio assistants and also etched and wrote a great deal.
At various stages in his life he was connected with the stage.
In recent years, Sickert's name has been connected with Jack the Ripper, in particularly by the American crime novelist Patricia Cornwell who in her 2002 book Portrait Of A Killer: Jack The Ripper -- Case Closed, that Sickert was responsible for the murders.
Case closed. Do me a favour. How anyone can show such arrogance as Cornwall is beyond me for her 'evidence' is flimsy at best. Tales of deformed penises, dodgy DNA theories, and 'clues' in his paintings and drawings do not go anywhere near.
Perhaps the biggest problem with her 'Case Closed theories is that the guy wasn't even in the country when most of them happened. This might of been even beyond such an eccentric as Sickert to be in two places at once. But a number of letters from the Sickert family place the artist as vacationing in France for a length of time that overlaps the dates of most of the Ripper murders.
But hey: why let that little detail get in the way of Ms Cornwall making a further shedload of cash through sales of her 'definative' and 'the end' book on Jack Ripper.
Sickert was interested in the crime, and may or not have lodged in the room used by Jack the Sickert, I mean Ripper and painted the room, entitling it Jack the Ripper's bedroom.
That is all that links him to Jack the Ripper.
- 1860: Born May 31, in Munich, Germany. Father Oswald Danish-German; his mother Eleanor the illegitimate daughter of astronomer Richard Sheepshanks. Sister Helena Swanwick would become a feminist and pacifist active in the women's suffrage movement
- 1878: Left King's College School. Became an actor before becoming an assistant to James McNeill Whistler. Later meets Degas and heavily influenced by him
- 1907: Became interested in the Camden town murder, the killing of a local prostitute.
- 1911: Camden Town Group officially established
- 1942: Died on January 22 in Bath at the age of 81
- Worked at the bottom of the Impressionist tone scale. His light effects gleam out from sombre colours and tones
Towards the end of his life he made a series of pictures based either on newspaper and other photographs or on Victorian magazine illustrations
- Favored ordinary people and urban scenes as his subject matter
- The artist had several wives and lovers, and probaly fathered several children
- His best known work is Ennui
- Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (Beaverbrook Art Gallery)
- London (Tate, Courtauld Inst., Mus. of London, Islington Public Library)
- New York (M of MA)
- Paris (Louvre)
- Toledo Ohio
Walter Sickert's London UK Dvd
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