Sickert and photography

Sickert once said that photography was like alcohol: it should only be used by someone who could do without it. In his later life he replaced sketching with photography. "A photograph is the most precious document obtainable by a sculptor, a painter, or a draughtsman. Canaletto based his work on tracings made with the camera lucida. Turner’s studio was crammed with negatives...Degas took photographs" (1929). He paved the way for Bacon, Warhol, Richter, etc.
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Variation on Peggy (1934-5) by Walter Richard Sickert. Portrait of the actress on the Accademia Bridge in Venice. The painting is based on a black-and-white press photograph published by the Radio Times in 1934. The vibrant but limited palette seems to refer to colours used in the four-colour printing process as seen in an advertisement on the back of the same edition of the magazine. The painting deliberately and unnervingly juxtaposes past and present.

Variation on Peggy (1934-5) by Walter Richard Sickert. Portrait of the actress on the Accademia Bridge in Venice. The painting is based on a black-and-white press photograph published by the Radio Times in 1934. The vibrant but limited palette seems to refer to colours used in the four-colour printing process as seen in an advertisement on the back of the same edition of the magazine. The painting deliberately and unnervingly juxtaposes past and present.

Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies as Queen Isabella of France (tipsimages )

Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies as Queen Isabella of France (tipsimages )

H.M. King Edward VIII (1936) by Walter Richard Sickert. A photograph freezes movement and allows Sickert to show the monarch in the act of walking, just after stepping out of his car. The photograph was taken by Express newspaper photographer Harold Clements, whom Sickert paid the 17/6 agency reproduction fee, cheekily rewriting Clements’s complaint: “[Sickert]...has given my photograph and myself an importance which I could never have otherwise attained.”

H.M. King Edward VIII (1936) by Walter Richard Sickert. A photograph freezes movement and allows Sickert to show the monarch in the act of walking, just after stepping out of his car. The photograph was taken by Express newspaper photographer Harold Clements, whom Sickert paid the 17/6 agency reproduction fee, cheekily rewriting Clements’s complaint: “[Sickert]...has given my photograph and myself an importance which I could never have otherwise attained.”

Queen Victoria and her great-grandson (c.1936) by Walter Richard Sickert. The picture actually shows Victoria's grandson and was probably painted from a cropped photograph of 1885 published in The Star newspaper in 1936. It is one of many works made by Sickert that he referred to as ‘echoes’ – paintings that he created between 1927 and 1942 in which he reproduced scenes found in Victorian photographs and press cuttings.

Queen Victoria and her great-grandson (c.1936) by Walter Richard Sickert. The picture actually shows Victoria's grandson and was probably painted from a cropped photograph of 1885 published in The Star newspaper in 1936. It is one of many works made by Sickert that he referred to as ‘echoes’ – paintings that he created between 1927 and 1942 in which he reproduced scenes found in Victorian photographs and press cuttings.

Photograph of Walter Richard Sickert (c.1929) by Thérèse Lessore. This image, squared-up for transfer on to canvas, was the source of Sickert's painting The Servant of Abraham. Taken from below so that the subject looms over the viewer, Sickert has been lit from behind so that his face is largely in shadow, but his head, with the distinctive square-cut beard, is dramatically outlined in white light. Thérèse Lessore was Sickert's third wife.

Photograph of Walter Richard Sickert (c.1929) by Thérèse Lessore. This image, squared-up for transfer on to canvas, was the source of Sickert's painting The Servant of Abraham. Taken from below so that the subject looms over the viewer, Sickert has been lit from behind so that his face is largely in shadow, but his head, with the distinctive square-cut beard, is dramatically outlined in white light. Thérèse Lessore was Sickert's third wife.

Walter Richard Sickert 'The Raising of Lazarus' c.1929

Walter Richard Sickert 'The Raising of Lazarus' c.1929

The Front at Hove (Turpe Senex Miles Turpe Senilis Amor) (1930) by Walter Richard Sickert. The faded, shabby grandeur of Hove's Regency Crescents echoes the couple on the bench: the painting's subtitle from Ovid translates as ‘An old soldier is a wretched thing, so also is senile love’. Sickert spent the summer of 1926 in Brighton, and from May 1927 to 1931 rented a studio in the Kemp Town area.

The Front at Hove (Turpe Senex Miles Turpe Senilis Amor) (1930) by Walter Richard Sickert. The faded, shabby grandeur of Hove's Regency Crescents echoes the couple on the bench: the painting's subtitle from Ovid translates as ‘An old soldier is a wretched thing, so also is senile love’. Sickert spent the summer of 1926 in Brighton, and from May 1927 to 1931 rented a studio in the Kemp Town area.

Miss Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies as Isabella of France (1932) by Walter Richard Sickert. The actress as Queen Isabella of France in Christopher Marlowe's play Edward II. "La Louve" means "She-Wolf". The painting is from a photograph taken by a professional photographer named Bertram Park. "I have made it quite clear by painting ‘Bertram Park Photo’ in a corner of the canvas that the portrait was copied from a photograph." (Sickert)

Miss Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies as Isabella of France (1932) by Walter Richard Sickert. The actress as Queen Isabella of France in Christopher Marlowe's play Edward II. "La Louve" means "She-Wolf". The painting is from a photograph taken by a professional photographer named Bertram Park. "I have made it quite clear by painting ‘Bertram Park Photo’ in a corner of the canvas that the portrait was copied from a photograph." (Sickert)

Sir Alec Martin, KBE (1935) by Walter Richard Sickert. Martin was managing director of Christie's and friend of Sickert. He remembered sitting for the artist in one of the rooms of in Sickert’s home near Broadstairs in Ken but, unlike his wife and son, he did not recall a photograph having been taken of him. The composition of the painting seems to confirm a photographic source. It seems likely therefore that a reference snapshot was taken of Martin by Sickert's wife.

Sir Alec Martin, KBE (1935) by Walter Richard Sickert. Martin was managing director of Christie's and friend of Sickert. He remembered sitting for the artist in one of the rooms of in Sickert’s home near Broadstairs in Ken but, unlike his wife and son, he did not recall a photograph having been taken of him. The composition of the painting seems to confirm a photographic source. It seems likely therefore that a reference snapshot was taken of Martin by Sickert's wife.


More ideas
Snow on Sumida River, woodblock print, by Tsuchiya Koitsu, 1934 -- See also at: http://leakstev.blogspot.fr/2009/12/well-of-dreams.html

Snow on Sumida River, woodblock print, by Tsuchiya Koitsu, 1934 -- See also at: http://leakstev.blogspot.fr/2009/12/well-of-dreams.html

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