Walter Richard Sickert

The Seducer

c.1929–30

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 425 x 625 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1989
Reference
T05529

Display caption

'The Seducer' is an example of Sickert's late work which he called 'echoes'. These were subject pictures and portraits based on and 'echoing' black and white 19th century prints and illustrations. Sickert's father had been an illustrator and the 'echoes' are replete with a sense of nostalgia for the Victorian era. This example is based on an original by Sir John Gilbert (1819-97) whose romantic and melodramatic narratives Sickert admired.

Gallery label, August 2004

Technique and condition

The commercially primed and stretched canvas was supplied by L. Cornelissen and Son, Artists' Colourmen. The sturdy flax canvas with its double warp and treble weft threads is sized and primed with a thin, white lead oil ground which retains the distinctive canvas texture. It is probably of Belgian manufacture. The canvas is stretched onto an expandable stretcher and the colourmen's stencil applied to the back of the canvas after being stretched.

Painted in artists' oil colours, the drawing and colouring are executed swiftly in fluid colours. The paint is often dragged across the tops of the canvas texture producing broken applications and in many areas the ground remains bare. The 'alla prima' painting has few corrections and overpaintings.

The painting is coated with a thin film of varnish and is in good condition. The gilded, moulded frame it was acquired in is probably not original. Glass was fitted to it on acquisition.

Roy Perry
1995

Catalogue entry

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