Born in Munich of Danish parents, Walter Sickert came to England as a child in 1868. Taught by Whistler and inspired by Degas, whom he knew, he became one of the most influential and prolific British painters of his period. Experimenting with late impressionist and post-impressionist idioms, Sickert forged a personal practice devoted almost entirely to depictions of metropolitan life, some of them squalid. He settled permanently in London in 1905, from which time his studio served as a nerve-centre for the younger 'realist' painters of the Camden Town Group. Sickert's love of urban types, bohemia and the world of variety theatre is apparent in this atmospheric canvas. Katie Lawrence was a knockabout songstress who frequently headlined at Gatti's venue. Despite Sickert's interest in working-class themes his art is far from populist, appealing as it does to sophisticated taste. Daringly, the painter portrays Lawrence as little more than a footlit smudge.
AGNSW Handbook, 1999.
Gatti's Hungerford Palace of Varieties: second turn of Katie Lawrence
Second turn of Katie Lawrence at Gatti's Hungerford Varieties; Tom Tinsley in the Chair
oil on canvas mounted on hardboard
84.4 x 99.3 cm board; 103.2 x 117.5 x 7.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.r., black oil "Sickert". Not dated.
Watson Bequest Fund 1946
Not on display
Shown in 8 exhibitions
Retrospective exhibition of paintings and drawings by Richard Sickert A.R.A., P.R.B.A., The Leicester Galleries, London, 1929–1929
Paintings by Walter Richard Sickert, A.R.A., Beaux Arts London, London, Jul 1933–Jul 1933
Retrospective exhibition of by W.R. Sickert, A.R.A., Agnew's, London, London, Nov 1933–Dec 1933
Epstein and Sickert, Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane, 14 May 1954–14 Jun 1954
Walter Richard Sickert: Adelaide Festival of Arts 1968, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 07 Mar 1968–23 Mar 1968
Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from Australian collections (2000), S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 15 Jan 2000–27 Feb 2000
Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec:
Messrs Wallace, England, by 1933, lent to Retrospective exhibition of pictures by W.R. Sickert, A.R.A. at Agnew's 1933, cat.no.33
Mrs J.B. Priestley, England, possibly Mary ('Jane') Wyndham Lewis, 2nd wife of J.B. (John Boynton) Priestley (1894-1984)
Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Arthur Tooth & Sons 1946
Referenced in 25 publications
Agnew's, London, Retrospective exhibition of pictures by W.R. Sickert, A.R.A., 1933. cat.no. 26
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 40 (colour illus.).
Anthony Richard Baker, Marie LLoyd: Queen of the Music-halls, London, 1990, cover (colour illus.).
Wendy Baron OBE, Sickert: paintings and drawings, '1898-1905. Dieppe landscapes', pg.37-42, New Haven, 2006, 41, 136, 329 (illus.). cat.no.279
Wendy Baron OBE and Richard Shone (Editors), Sickert Paintings, London, 1992, 70, 71 (colour illus.). cat.no. 6
Wendy Baron OBE, Sickert, London, 1973, 27-28 (illus.). cat.no. 42, fig.no. 28
Beaux Arts London, Paintings by Walter Richard Sickert, A.R.A., London, 1933. cat.no. 15
Anthony Bertram, Sickert, 1955, (illus.). pl.3
Lillian Browse (Editor), Sickert, London, 1943, (illus.). pl. 3
Paula Dredge and Richard Beresford, The Burlington Magazine, 'Walter Sickert at Gatti's: new technical evidence', pg. 264-69, London, Apr 2006, 265 (colour illus.), 266 (illus.), 268 (illus.), 269, 272. illustration on pg. 268 is a photograph under ultraviolet light and pg. 266 an x-ray
Renée Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales catalogue of British paintings, Sydney, 1987, 174 (illus.).
Renée Free, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', pg. 108-172, Sydney, 1994, 158 (colour illus.), 159.
Renée Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'European', pg. 36-56, Sydney, 1988, 55.
Robert Haines, Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterley, 'Walter Richard Sickert 1860-1942', pg.423-7, Sydney, Oct 1968, 426, 427 (illus.), 231-232.
Roger Hudson, London Portrait of a City, 'The Hub of Empire 1850-1900', pg. 199-224, London, 1998, 221 (colour illus.).
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Western Collection: Paintings and Sculpture', pg. 17-77, Sydney, 1999, 50 (colour illus.).
Anne Kirker and Peter Tomory, British painting 1800–1990 in Australian and New Zealand public collections, Sydney, 1997, 157 (illus.). cat.no. 1967
Lou Klepac, Fifth Adelaide Festival of Arts 1968: Special exhibitions at the Art Gallery of South Australia, Walter Richard Sickert, p 5-12, Adelaide, 1968, 6. cat.no. 4
Kenneth McConkey, The New English: a history of the New English Art Club, 'Successful Failures' 1888-1895, London, 2006, 47-48, 47 (colour illus.), 51. fig.22
Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries, Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from public and private collections, Sydney, 2000. Catalogue entry appears in inserted list to printed catalogue: Selections by Barry Humphries
Queensland Art Gallery, Epstein and Sickert, Brisbane, 1954.
Anna Gruetzner Robins, Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec London and Paris 1870-1910, 'The greatest artist the world has ever known', pg. 51-93, 2005, 66, 68, 69 (colour illus.), 72. cat.no. 25
Anna Gruetzner Robins, World Impressionism: the International Movement, 1860-1920, 'British Impressionism: the magic and poetry of life around them', 1990, 174 (illus.). plate no. 80
Anna Gruetzner Robins, The Dieppe Connection. The town and its artists from Turner to Braque, 'No ordinary visitors: Dieppe at the fin de siecle', pg.13-16, 1992. fig.12
The Leicester Galleries, Retrospective exhibition of paintings and drawings by Richard Sickert A.R.A.,P.R.B.A., 1929. possibly in this exhibition, cat.no.77, as Gatti's Arches, Katie Lawrence