Jerwood Foundation

Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942)

St Remy, circa 1910

  • Details

    Out of Copyright
    signed ‘Sickert.’ (lower right)

  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Dimensions

    19 ¾ x 24 in. (50 x 61 cm.)

  • Provenance

    Bernheim Jeune Collection, Paris and by descent.
    Anonymous Sale; Christie’s, London, 21 May 2009, lot 31, where purchased.

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Bernheim-Jeune, Paysages de France, March - May 1961, no. 67.

  • Literature

    W. Baron, Sickert, London, 1973, p. 352, no. 291, fig. 202.
    W. Baron, Sickert: Paintings and Drawings, London, 2006, p. 354, no. 323.
    Collection Catalogue, Jerwood Collection, London 2012 p.34.

  • On Display

    Jerwood Gallery, Hastings (Room 5)

During the early 1890s Sickert spent his summers in the French port of Dieppe, and in 1898, he moved there permanently. At the time Dieppe was a popular destination for English tourists, particularly artists. This painting depicts the church of St Rémy, which was built between 1522 and 1640 and is Dieppe’s second largest church. In the distance the houses shown are in the former rue Farinette (now rue 19 Aoüt 1942) which also feature in Sickert’s oil, The Haunted House, Dieppe from 1898-99 (private collection).

Sickert also painted the same place in 1902 and 1912, whcih enabled this painting to be dated, as the trees in these paintings were different heights.

This painting was purchased for the Jerwood Collection in 2009 and it had been previously retained within the Bernheim Jeune family, the original owners, who were Sickert’s agents in Paris in the early 1900s.

 

Born in Munich, Sickert’s family moved to England in 1868. Sickert began a brief career as an actor (1878-81) before attending the Slade School (1881-1882). He met Whistler in 1879 and became his assistant and pupil when he left the Slade. In 1883 Sickert travelled to Paris where he met Degas and also had the opportunity to come into contact with other major European artistic figures, including Monet, Pissarro, Gauguin, Signac and Bonnard. His first solo show was held at Dowdeswell’s Gallery in London (1996) and a year later he joined the New English Art Club. Together with a group of artists, that included Philip Wilson Steer, Sickert staged the London Impressionists exhibition at the Goupil Gallery (1889).

In the early 1890s he spent his summers in Dieppe and visited Venice for the first time in 1895. Much of Sickert’s subject matter of this time was dominated by architectural views, although he continued to paint portraits and figure compositions. He moved back to London in 1905 and became a key figure of the British art scene: as leader of the Fitzroy Group (1907); founder member of Allied Artists’ Association (1908); central figure of the Camden Town Group (1911); and member of the London Group (1913). Around this time, Sickert painted a series of works in response to the Camden Town murder of 1907, which were the subject of the Courtauld Gallery’s 2007 exhibition, Walter Sickert: The Camden Town Nudes.

His work was exhibited widely during his lifetime and he was elected RA in 1934, although he resigned a year later in defence of Jacob Epstein. Sickert constantly developed artistic theories and techniques throughout his career, demonstrated in his painting, etching, critical writing and teaching. He was an eccentric dresser and changed his name in the 1920s, using Richard instead of Walter. By the time he died in 1942 in Bathampton, where he was living with his third wife, the painter Thérèse Lessore, a lifetime retrospective had been held at the National Gallery and his reputation as a modern master had been secured.