Murder, music hall and naked women
Was the Victorian painter Walter Sickert actually Jack the Ripper?
Walter Sickert was the bad boy of art in his day, and one of my favourite artists of the late 19th / early 20th centuries. He was unusual amongst his fellow artists in his subject matter, depicting scenes of working-class life in Victorian and Edwardian London.
Sickert always had one eye on the press and picked up on stories that caught the popular imagination. In 1907 a woman was found murdered in a rented room in an area of London called Camden Town. The newspapers at this time went crazy about this story and it inspired a series of paintings from Sickert known as The Camden Town Murder series.
Many people believe that Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper, the notorious Victorian murderer because of the novels of the crime fiction writer Patricia Cornwell. That’s artistic licence for you, but the reality was that he was just simply one of the most influential British painters of the 20th century.
Below the paywall jump I discuss a handful of Sickert’s music hall paintings and the influence of the French Impressionists on his art in a bite-sized video. Plus tons of links to other articles and videos. And join the conversation in the comments!