Walter Richard Sickert spent the winter and spring of 1903–4 in Venice, where he had been a regular visitor since 1895. Forced indoors by the incessant rain that winter, he hired prostitutes to pose for him in the dingy apartment he had rented for the season near the Rialto, which served as his studio. He referred to each of them by a nickname. In this case he dubbed his model "La Giuseppina," and she became his favorite, regularly sitting for him as he worked diligently from 9 to 11 am and 1 to 4 pm each day. In a letter to a fellow artist, Sickert described "the uninterrupted pleasure of these kind, obliging little models" and how they liked to amuse him "with smutty talk while posing like angels." It was in Venice that Sickert first began painting figures in domestic interiors inspired by the example of his mentor, Edgar Degas.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2020


Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps