Although Walter Richard 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. This painting probably shows Chez Vernet, a beuglant (small neighbourhood café-concert) in Normandy that was frequented by artists. The work differs from his other music hall scenes in that the singer is seen from backstage. The clever use of reflective surfaces and mirrors lends the composition greater complexity. It suggests the influence of Sickert’s close friend, Edgar Degas. The work was painted during a disheartening time for the artist, who was mourning the death of his second wife.