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Walter Richard Sickert

In the Cabaret at the End of the Pier


Walter Richard Sickert
Munich 1860 – Bathampton, England, 1942


In the Cabaret at the End of the Pier


About 1920


Oil on canvas


61 x 50.8 cm


Gift of Dr. John Parkinson, inv. 1946.963


Western Art

Although Sickert was the most fashionable English artist of his generation, he spent most of his life in Dieppe in order to paint on the northern coast of France. Influenced by the British avant-garde of the 1920s, he made a distinctive contribution to the transition from Impressionism to Modernism. He was particularly fond of depicting the audiences and leading performers of the cafés-concerts that were popular at the time. This painting probably shows Chez Vernet, a beuglant (small neighbourhood café-concert) in Normandy that was frequented by artists. The painting differs from his other music hall scenes in that the singer is seen from backstage. The clever use of reflective surfaces and mirrors renders the composition more complex. It suggests the influence of the painter’s close friend, Degas then passed away. It shows the originality of Sickert’s pictorial layouts. The work was painted during a disheartening time for the artist, who was mourning the death of his second wife.

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