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Sickert, Walter Richard, 1860–1942

The British painter, printmaker, teacher, and critic is one of the most important figures of his time. Sickert was of Danish and German ancestry but he worked for most of his life in England.

He took elements of his style from sources including Degas and Whistler, but moulded them into a highly distinctive manner. His favourite subjects were the urban scenes around him and figure compositions – streets, churches, theatre performances, flower sellers, prostitutes – and he gave each of his paintings an edge of truth. Sickert wrote in 1910 that 'The more our art is serious, the more will it tend to avoid the drawing-room and stick to the kitchen.' Read Michael Palin's take on Sickert's The Red Shop (The October Sun).

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