Walter Richard Sickert

Two Women on a Sofa - Le Tose


Not on display
Walter Richard Sickert 1860–1942
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 457 x 533 mm
frame: 652 x 729 x 60 mm
Bequeathed by Sir Hugh Walpole 1941

Display caption

In Venice in 1902-3, Sickert experimented with setting figures in natural poses in everyday surroundings. This picture’s subtitle, ‘Le Tose’, is taken from Venetian dialect and means ‘the girls’. Its constrained, planar composition forces attention onto the figures, although their faces are blurred and impossible to read, creating a sense of ambiguity. We can only look to the pose and set of their bodies to read meaning. Each figure looks back at the painter, one is bored, the other more relaxed. The pair are evidently on close terms as they sit near to one another. Sickert’s models were the prostitutes Carolina dell’Acqua and ‘La Giuseppina’.

Gallery label, May 2007

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