Oil paint on canvas
508 x 406 mm
Bequeathed by Lady Henry Cavendish-Bentinck 1940
Technique and condition
How to citeStephen Hackney, 'Technique and Condition', July 2004, in Nicola Moorby, ‘Tipperary 1914 by Walter Richard Sickert’, catalogue entry, October 2004, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012, https://www
As the streets are paved with gold, sure ev’ryone was gay;
Singing songs of Piccadilly, Strand and Leicester Square,
’Til Paddy got excited, then he shouted to them there:–
It’s a long way to Tipperary, it’s a long way to go;
It’s a long way to Tipperary, to the sweetest girl I know;
Goodbye Piccadilly, farewell Leicester Square,
It’s a long, long way to Tipperary, but my heart’s right there.
Saying, ‘Should you not receive it, write and let me know!
If I make mistakes in spelling, Molly, dear,’ said he,
‘Remember it’s the pen that’s bad, don’t lay the blame on me.’
Saying, ‘Mike Maloney wants to marry me, and so
Leave the Strand and Piccadilly, or you’ll be to blame,
For love has fairly drove me silly, hoping you’re the same.’
Don’t you know that over here, lad, they like it best like this!
Hooray pour le Français! Farewell, Angleterre!
We didn’t know the way to tickle Mary, but we learned how, over there!
Sickert and the First World War
A number of other models posed for Sickert at the piano. The artist used the theme, like the iron bedsteads and the mantelpiece, as a way to explore figurative compositions within an interior, manipulating the space and the relationship between people and their surroundings. The earliest example seems to have been an untraced study of Adolphe Tavernier’s daughter at the piano which Sickert told Sands was pleasant to undertake since he could listen to Beethoven.28 In January 1914, Sickert published a drawing in the New Age entitled The Music Lesson, which depicts Chicken leaning on the keyboard of a piano with the figure of Hubby behind her.29 A further drawing of the pair, showing Chicken in profile, was given to Osbert Sitwell in exchange for a pair of cufflinks.30 Chicken was probably also the model for a series of images showing the side view of a woman in a hat playing the piano: an oil painting on canvas, Chopin (private collection);31 a drawing, Girl at Piano: ‘Chopin’ (Wakefield Art Gallery);32 and an engraving, Kitty K c.1915 and 1920.33 Other drawings include, Chicken. Girl Playing a Piano 1914 (whereabouts unknown),34 The Afternoon Rest; Woman at a Piano 1914 (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester),35 and a charcoal sketch, At the Piano, Miss Ethel Sands (private collection).36 Sickert also seems to have encouraged Sands and Hudson to tackle the theme. Correspondence between the master and his pupils indicates that the two women also painted Chicken and Hubby at the piano under the direction of their mentor.
How to cite
Nicola Moorby, ‘Tipperary 1914 by Walter Richard Sickert’, catalogue entry, October 2004, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012, https://www