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WALTER RICHARD SICKERT (1860 -1942)

In 1909, together with one of his pupils, Madeleine Knox, he opened a school to teach etching. It was situated in Hampstead Road, Camden Town, and named Rowlandson House School, after the English draughtsman and etcher Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827). The following year Madeleine Knox left and her place was taken by another pupil, Sylvia Gosse, who printed many of Sickert’s etchings over the years and became a distinguished painter and print-maker in her own right. The school closed in 1914.

Sickert was powerfully affected by the work of the Impressionists in France. Together with other English modernist painters he founded the Fitzroy Street Group, named after the street in which he had his studio. In 1911 it became known as The Camden Town Group, again taking its name from the area in which Sickert lived and painted. The principal members of the group were Robert Bevan, Spencer Gore, Harold Gilman, Charles Ginner, James Innes and Augustus John. Together with Sickert, they found their subject matter in the working class surroundings of the area; the cab-driver’s stables of nearby Cumberland Market, the local Bedford Theatre music-hall, or the dingy interiors of rented rooms.

Biography