Sickert suddenly felt he wanted to paint the performance of a holiday theatre troupe called The Brighton Pierrots which he saw on the beach at Brighton in 1915.

He went out to watch them every evening for five weeks. Using these drawings he made up a design showing the act under way, with some actors looking on while others performed. They are partly hidden behind the struts of the canopy, and some are cut off by the edge of the painting. There is an extraordinary loneliness in Sickert's later paintings, as if he were looking at a world far away which he could no longer fully join. Extract from an article in the 1995 Art Fund Review by David Frasier Jenkins.


Commissioned by Sir William and Lady Jowitt,1915. Sold by their descendants to The Fine Art Society in 1983. Sold to Frederick Koch in 1984. Sold to Christies in 1993. Bought by present owner.

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