- Bequeathed to the New Zealand Government by Mr Odo Cross and presented to the Gallery, 1965
- Oil on canvas
- 950 x 730mm
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Music halls had their hey-day before World War I but there were still two Shoreditch music halls in London in 1920 - the ‘London’ (also known as the ‘Empire’) and the ‘Olympia’. Walter Sickert did many drawings and some paintings in both of them. As with the brilliantly lit, lone figure here, the theatres allowed him to explore the effects of artificial light set against the darkness of the stage. An important and original British artist, Sickert was influenced by James McNeill Whistler (1834 -1903) and Edgar Degas (1834 -1917). Sickert was born in Munich, the son of Danish artist Oswald Aldabert Sickert (1828 -1885) with whom he came to England in 1868. He studied at the Slade, becoming a pupil of Whistler, and travelled to Paris where he met Impressionist painters, including Degas. Sickert became a member of the Royal Academy in 1934 but he also exhibited with a number of more avant-garde groups, including the New English Art Club, the Fitzroy Street Group and the Camden Town Group.