Although Walter Sickert is considered the father of modern British painting, he was born in Germany. He became Britain’s most famous artist but after his death he drifted into obscurity, ironically rejected for the same inventive spirit that had first made his name. He remains one of the undiscovered heroes of modern art.
This film discovers Howard Hodgkin rummaging in the Sickert archive, follows Frank Auerbach around the streets of Camden, encourages Professor Quentin Bell to recall what it was like to be drawn by the man himself; artist John Wonnacott studies the drawings, Peter Ackroyd describes the context of London’s back streets and secrets, Lady Mary Soames reveals the artists’ friendship with her father Winston Churchill and solicitor Sir David Napley shares Sickert’s fascination with The Camden Town Murder. With music by Jools Holland and Sickert’s writings read by Alan Bennett this film manages to conjure up the spirit of one of Europe’s greatest and most misunderstood artists.
Director - Jake Auerbach
Music - Jools Holland
Readings - Alan Bennett
Editor - Guy Bensley
Producers - Hannah Rothschild and Robert McNab