Property from the Collection of the late RHODA SAMUEL
Walter Richard Sickert, A.R.A. (1860-1942)


Walter Richard Sickert, A.R.A. (1860-1942)
signed and dated 'Sickert 1914' (lower right)
oil on canvas
20½ x 16 in. (52 x 40.6 cm.)
Lefevre Gallery, London.
Morton Oliphant; sale, Sotheby's, 26 November 1969, lot 346 (800gns. to Rutland).
W. Baron, Sickert, London, 1973, no.352, fig.248.
W. Baron and R. Shone, Sickert Paintings, Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogue, London, 1992, p.244, fig.169.
Paris, Salon, Loan Exhibition, 1938.
London, Rutland Gallery, This England, 1970, no.55, where purchased by Mrs. Dudley Samuel.

Lot Essay

Sickert painted a number of piano pictures during the first winter of the First World War. Another version of the present work is in the collection of the Tate Gallery, London. The piano picture 'Chopin', which omits the soldier looking on, was sold in these Rooms on 23 November 1993, lot 49 (private collection).

Sickert wrote to Miss Ethel Sands 'Chicken has been playing the Contes d'Hoffmann while I have been painting her reflection at the piano'. Chicken was the model for nearly all the piano pictures which Baron remarks 'are quite small in scale ... and their colours are fairly low-toned and muddy with much use of a warm reddish-brown and yellowy greens'. Her real name was Emily Powell of 26 Red Lion Square and she sang in the chorus at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She was the subject of several drawings and portraits by the artist between 1912-14. (see W. Baron, op. cit., pp.366-67).

We are very grateful to Dr. Wendy Baron for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.

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