Sylvia Gosse first met Sickert in 1908. He taught her at his art school at Rowlandson House. They developed a warm friendship which was to last until Sickert’s death in 1942.
This portrait is based on a photograph of Sickert taken in 1923 in a professional photographer’s studio. Sickert is shown as the professional artist he had then become, wearing a top hat and smart overcoat. In contrast to the tradition of male artists painting their female associates, in this portrait the woman paints her male mentor.