Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Sickert, Tonks

 Born on this day in 1860 (in Munich, to a German-Danish father and English mother) was the painter Walter Sickert, who has appeared quite often on this blog, most recently  sporting his retired tug-boat captain look. He is in the same gear in the picture above, in which he is seen dozing companionably with his friend and coeval Philip Wilson Steer. Titled Sodales: Mr Steer and Mr Wilson, it was painted by Henry Tonks, 'the most renowned and formidable teacher of his generation', who, curiously, was a successful surgeon before switching to art. With his famously withering manner, hooded eyes and grim features, he seemed entirely cold and humourless, but some of his pictures, like the affectionate portrait above, belie that impression. As does this caricature of John Singer Sargent as a war artist (which Tonks also was) painting en plein air at the front...

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