Odds and quads

June 17, 2010

This "lay figure", or life-sized artist's model, belonged to Walter Sickert (1860-1942), the English Post-Impressionist whose images of drab female nudes and murdered prostitutes have led to claims that he was involved in the Jack the Ripper murders.

Sickert taught for most of his life; in later years at the Bath School of Art and Design, now part of Bath Spa University. The figure, which he used as a teaching aid, was donated to the university in 1942.

It was recently found in the library vault in a state of disrepair and has now been restored.

It is said that the model was once owned by William Hogarth. Although there is no real evidence for this claim, it certainly dates back to the 18th century and is made of stained wood with articulated joints.

It was given to Sickert by his brother-in-law, Major Frederick Lessore, who owned the Beaux Arts Gallery in London.

The figure helped to inspire a major painting, The Raising of Lazarus (1928-29). Sickert got a local undertaker to wrap the model in a shroud, while he posed as Christ and asked a model to act as Lazarus' sister. The first version was painted on to the wallpaper of Sickert's London studio.

Send suggestions for this series on the sector's treasures, oddities and curiosities to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Boats docked in Port Hercule, Monaco

Richard Murphy praises a bold effort to halt tax-dodging by the 1 per cent

It’s a question with no easy answer, finds James Derounian

  • James Fryer illustration (19 November 2015)

With no time for proper peer review and with grade inflation inevitable, one academic felt compelled to resign

  • Worker checks thin-film silicon solar module, Truebbach

Asia doubles representation while European countries face varied performance

  • Man and woman dancing wearing stilts

Study argues that, while Oxford and Cambridge stand apart, rest of mission group does not live up to ‘elite’ tag