He Knew Degas

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He Knew Degas

He Knew Degas, 1938
Oil on canvas, 91.5 cm x 91.5 cm

The picture shows the painter Walter Sickert (1860–1942) working in bed while his third wife, Thérèse Lessore (herself a painter, 24 years younger), cuts photographs out of newspapers. In the 1920s and '30s Sickert controversially based a number of pictures on newspaper photographs, and in early 1938 both the Daily Telegraph and The Sketch published a photograph showing him and his wife surrounded by a sea of newspaper cuttings in the artist's studio at St Peter's Thanet.

Sickert in his studio

Sickert and Thérèse Lessore in his studio. For more on Roberts and Sickert, click here.

PROVENANCE: Purchased from the artist by Ernest Cooper > Sotheby's 23 May 1984 (£33,000) > private collection
EXHIBITION HISTORY: London Group 1938 (£85), Redfern Gallery 1942, Tate Gallery 1965, Worthing 1972
REPRODUCED: The Sketch, 23 Nov. 1938

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