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The Story Behind the Painting

Dawn Camden Town after Walter Sickert’s ‘Camden Town Series’ portrays a male figure sitting on the edge of the bed with a nude female. It is uncertain whether the figures are a depraved husband and wife, or prostitute and client. The painting draws the viewer in through what could be described as a dirty window or grubby net curtain and has you straining your eyes to witness this personal moment. The gloom of Victorian London pours out of the painting. You can just imagine Walter Sickert walking the streets late at night heading for one of his many studios around Camden Town with only his bull’s eye lamp to light the way. The 1907 ‘Camden Town Murder’ was in the press at the time he painted this, with the notorious Jack the Ripper also on the loose. Was Walter Sickert Jack the Ripper, as rumour would have it? His subject matter and the sinister tone of his paintings certainly inflame the imagination!


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