Leeds Art Gallery

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Juliet and the Nurse

Sickert, Walter Richard , 1935-6, Juliet and the Nurse

During the 1930s Sickert, who had always been attracted to the theatre, frequently attended performances, made friends with the actors and made paintings on their subjects. The paintings were usually derived from press photographs, and Edith Evans - here as the nurse - features in at least one other painting, and Peggy Ashcroft - here as Juliet - in several others.  The technique of painting from photographs (or other graphic sources such as prints) was widely used by Sickert in the 1930s - it encouraged a tonal (as opposed to linear) vision and Sickert used - or had his assistants use - a dry 'scraped' brushwork, showing often bare canvas between paint areas, with a concentration on large masses curiously flattened - unparalleled before Andy warhol.