The Old Bedford

Walter Richard Sickert, 1895 first exhibited

WAG 2264

About this object

Following the example of Édouard Manet (1832 – 1883) and Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917) and their paintings of Parisian cafes and theatres, Sickert painted the more raucous nightlife of London’s music halls throughout his career. He was a regular visitor at the Bedford Music Hall in Camden Town, the subject of this painting. Sickert may have intended it as a sequel to his earlier picture of the child performer Little Dot Hetherington on the stage of the Bedford, in which she is shown pointing to this spot while singing the popular song, “The Boy I Love is up in the Gallery”. As well as recording vividly the atmosphere and setting of a late 19th century performance, this is a brilliant exercise in lighting and composition. Sickert exploits the contrast between the shadowy auditorium and the reflected glare of the stage, and creates tricks of space and perspective by means of the giant mirror on the left.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Walter Richard Sickert (British: English, born:31 May 1860, died:22 January 1942)
  • Date
    1895 first exhibited
  • Materials
    Oil; Canvas
  • Measurements
    canvas/support: 76.3 cm x 60.5 cm
  • Physical description
    A scene depicting a group of men wearing black on a balcony in a music hall. They are gazing to the lower left corner of the composition where the concert is taking place.
  • Related people
    Walter Richard Sickert (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 2264
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery in 1947
  • Location
    Walker Art Gallery, Room 10
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections

Inscriptions

Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: L. Cornellissen and Sons / 22 Queen St / London W.C.
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Canvas
  • Inscription text: Sickert
    Inscription method: Paint
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Lower right
  • Inscription text: The Mayor Gallery / 14 Brook Street / London / 3111
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Frame; Stretcher
  • Inscription text: A26 Sickert The Old Bedford / W.A.G. Acquisitions 1945 / 55 / Agnews 1955 April / May
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Frame; Stretcher
  • Inscription text: Lady Lever Art Gallery / Theatrical Exh. 1949
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Frame; Stretcher
  • Inscription text: Graves Art Gallery / Sept/Oct 57 No.6 Sickert Exh.
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Frame; Stretcher
  • Inscription text: Glasgow / 1937 / Dicksee and Co
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Frame; Stretcher
  • Inscription text: 46
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Frame; Stretcher
  • Inscription text: British Council / Title The Old Bedford c 1890. / British Paintings 1800/1950 / U.S.A
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Frame; Stretcher
  • Inscription text: Sickert
    Inscription method: Stencil
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Frame
Object view = Fine Art
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