This is a study for the painting The Obelisk 1914 (private collection). Another study is also held in Tate Archive (TGA 8120/3/54). The obelisk stands near Arques-la-Bataille and commemorates a victory of Henry IV from 21 September 1589. During his and his wife Christine’s stay at Envermeu during the summer of 1913, Sickert began drawing and painting the countryside for the first time since 1908 (see Matthew Sturgis, Walter Sickert: A Life, London 2005, p.444). Sickert wrote to Ethel Sands in August 1913 that he had ‘a motif that interests me very much. An obelisk on rising ground. I am looking down on it & the plain below rises above the whole length of the obelisk with a river & willows. So the obelisk serves as a measure of the receding plain.’ (TGA 9125/5, no.68). The drawing is referenced in Wendy Baron, Sickert: Paintings and Drawings, New Haven and London 2006, no.438.6.
Helena Bonett September 2010
How to cite
Walter Richard Sickert, The Obelisk, near Arques-la-Bataille, c.1913, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/camden-town-group/walter-richard-sickert-the-obelisk-near-arques-la-bataille-r1104717, accessed 26 January 2021.