Summer Lightning

WAG 2261


This is one of Sickert’s ‘English Echoes’, a group of late works in which he openly used images from popular Victoriana as his source. The ‘Echoes’ have since been described as ‘a kind of Pop Art’. In Summer Lightning the source of the image is Sir John Gilbert’s black and white line illustration, The Unexpected Rencontre. Sickert blatantly advertises the fact that he has copied the image by exposing his squaring-up and by using only a few simple colours, like a cheap print. Sickert challenges the viewer to consider the fine line between ‘high art’ and magazine illustration, originality and plagiarism.