Saturday, November 10, 2007

"Mornington Crescent Nude" (1907) by Walter Sickert

Walter Sickert, Mornington Crescent Nude, c. 1907, Oil on canvas, 45.7 x 50.8 cm. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. © Estate of Walter R. Sickert/DACS 2007.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Walter Sickert (1860-1942) painted a remarkable series of female nudes which confirmed his reputation as one of the most important modern British artists.

The Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery, London presents the first exhibition devoted to these radical works produced in Camden Town, north London, between 1905 and 1913. The uncompromising realism of Sickert’s nudes, set on iron bedsteads in the murky interiors of cheap lodging houses, challenged artistic conventions and divided critical opinion.

The exhibition traces Sickert’s reinvention of the nude, exploring the ways in which these powerful paintings addressed pressing artistic and social concerns of the period. It brings together many of his finest canvases, from both private and public collections, including Sickert’s four provocative Camden Town Murder paintings, which have never before been displayed together.

To complement the exhibition a display of Sickert’s drawings and prints from The Courtauld Gallery’s collections will also be on show. These rarely seen works cover various periods of the artist’s career and demonstrate his exceptional talents as a draughtsman.

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