WALTER RICHARD SICKERT
Munich 1860 – 1942 Bathhampton, Somerset
Walter Richard Sickert was born in Munich on the 31st May 1860, into a Danish-German family. His father Oswald Adalbert Sickert was also an artist. In 1868 his family moved to London and after attending a school in Reading, he studied at University College School, Bayswater Collegiate School and Kings College School. Sickert first worked unsuccessfully as an actor before studying under Alphonse Legros at the Slade School of Fine Art. He was James McNeill Whistler’s (1834-1903) assistant for a while, painting with him in Cornwall in 1884. He also worked with Edgar Degas (1834-1917) in Paris. In 1885 he married Ellen Melicent Ashburner Cobden. Ellen officially divorced him in 1899. In 1911 he married his art student Christine Drummond Angus. She died in 1920.
Although Sickert divided much of his time between visits to Dieppe and Venice, he returned to London in 1905 where he continued to produce sketches of music halls and their audiences. Sickert spearheaded the renting of a studio which became a meeting place for artists, who if they contributed to the rent, called themselves the ‘Fitzroy Street Group’. Some of these artists, including Spencer Gore, Harold Gilman, Robert Bevan and Charles Ginner, formed a short-lived, elected, exhibition society called the ‘Camden Town Group’. From 1919-22 Sickert lived in Dieppe. He returned to Islington, then took a house in Margate where he married his third wife, the painter Therese Lessore in 1926. In 1938 he moved to Bathhampton where he died on the 23rd January 1942, one of the most influential and avant-garde British artists of the twentieth century.