Walter Richard Sickert

1860–1942

Artist biography

Unlike the majority of the Camden Town Group, Walter Richard Sickert (figs.1 and 2) was recognised during his own lifetime as an important artist, and in the years since his death has increasingly gained a reputation as one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century British art. He was universally acknowledged throughout his life as a colourful, charming and fascinating character, a catalyst for progress and modernity, yet someone who remained independent of groups, cliques and categories. As a younger man he was widely reported to be an entertaining and skilled raconteur, popular within cultural and social circles and friendly with numerous famous personalities of the era. In his old age he cultivated his many eccentric habits and courted a level of celebrity, frequently appearing in the newspapers for having changed his appearance, his name, or for his latest controversial painting stunt. His art, like his personality, is multifaceted, complex and compelling.
Sickert was a cosmopolitan figure. The eldest of six children, he was born in Munich on 31 May 1860 to a Danish father (with German nationality) and an Anglo-Irish mother. His early years were spent in Germany, but in 1868 the family moved to England. London remained his principal home for the rest of his life, although he also lived for periods in France and Italy. He spoke fluent English, German and French, and had a good command of Italian. His father, Oswald Adalbert Sickert, was a painter and woodcut illustrator for a comic paper, the Fliegende Blätter, and although his young son received no early formal training, art and culture formed an integral part of his upbringing. His schooling was undertaken in a variety of establishments including the King’s College School, London.

Nicola Moorby
May 2006

Notes

Wikipedia entry

Walter Richard Sickert (31 May 1860 – 22 January 1942) was a British painter and printmaker who was a member of the Camden Town Group of Post-Impressionist artists in early 20th-century London. He was an important influence on distinctively British styles of avant-garde art in the mid- and late 20th century.

Sickert was a cosmopolitan and eccentric who often favoured ordinary people and urban scenes as his subjects. His work includes portraits of well-known personalities and images derived from press photographs. He is considered a prominent figure in the transition from Impressionism to Modernism.

This biography is from Wikipedia under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. Spotted a problem? Let us know.

Read full Wikipedia entry

Artworks

Artist as subject

Film and audio

Features

Sketches, letters, etc.

You might like

In the shop