Sickert in his early career belonged to that group of artists in England who were reacting against the academic teaching of the art schools and who looked to France and to the work of its impressionist painters for inspiration and guidance.
Sickert’s first distinctive paintings were pictures of popular life in the music halls. Later, however, Sickert was to turn to another aspect of popular life and depict plebeian types in dark little rooms with cheap iron bedsteads, washstands and mirrors and Venice had first provided such subjects.
In Dieppe and Venice, Sickert had been primarily attracted by the architecture, and architectural subjects were to be recurring themes for his paintings throughout most of his life. We find them again in his Brighton and Bath periods.
The intricacies and problems of architectural decoration fascinated him and among his loveliest drawings are his preliminary studies for such subjects.