Fancy Dress, Miss Beerbohm

WAG 2263


This is one of a cluster of small paintings of nude and clothed women which Sickert made in the spring of 1906. A typically low-key character study set in the artist’s Fitzroy Street studio, it is believed to have been modelled for by Alice Mary, sister of Max Beerbohm and a friend of Sickert’s who had already sat for him some years earlier. The title 'Fancy Dress' which was given to the work when it was exhibited in 1908, may be a polite euphemism designed to disguise the actual nature of the subject matter. Such scenes would have been shocking to a contemporary audience.