Jack the Ripper's Bedroom
Sickert, Walter Richard
Europe, United Kingdom, England
50.8 x 40.7 cm
Jack the Ripper's Bedroom about 1907
Walter Richard Sickert 1860 - 1942
Oil on canvas
Sickert rented a studio in the East End of London,
a notoriously rough and brutal area,
as he wanted his art to convey the seediness of life.
His landlady told him that she thought a previous lodger
may have been infamous murderer, 'Jack the Ripper'.
The horrible murders had happened close-by
and this was clearly a big attraction for Sickert.
His new studio inspired a series of murky interiors.
The blackness and blurred shapes in this painting
make the viewer a detective.
If you stare hard, pieces of furniture can be made out
but the pink stroke of paint on the floor is ambiguous:
it could be the effect of light from the window
but perhaps is something worse.
Mrs Cicely Tatlock Bequest 1980.303