Inscribed at lower right in red ink, "Sickert"; at lower center in red ink, "Vernet's";
The study shows Vernet's Café, a popular café and night life spot in the quarter of Dieppe, France, known as "au bout du qua" ("at the end of the quay") which Sickert frequently visited and depicted in the early to mid-1920s (Baron 1973, p. 38, 161, 378; Baron 2006, p. 494). From a young age, Sickert had spent his summers in Dieppe, where his mother had grown up (Baron 2009, Grove Art Online), and executed many drawings and paintings of the interior of the café in the early to mid-1920s. This particular composition consists of rows of schematically rendered tables, which the artist has labeled, in the foreground, a stage at the back left, and a view through an open doorway at the upper right of the drawing (Baron 2006, pp. 495-6, cat. 582, related drawing no. 6). The drawing is an early preparatory study for a painting of ca.1920 showing Vernet's during the day. The final painted version features several additional figures seated at the rectangular table illustrated in the foreground of the drawing and one additional figure standing at the bar to the right (Private Collection; Baron 1973, p. 378, under cat. 397; Shone 1988, col. pl. 59; Baron & Shone 1992-3, pp. 270-1, cat. 96; Corbett 2001, p. 51, fig. 42; Baron 2006, pp. 495-6, cat. 582). One other similar painting exists, dated ca. 1925, in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Baron 1973, p. 378, under cat. 397; Baron 2006, pp. 495-6; not seen), as well as four related drawings in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (inv. nos. 5351, 5352, 5353, 5499; Baron 1973, pp. 378, under cat, 397; Baron & Shone 1992-3, p. 270, under cat. 96; Baron 2006, pp. 495-6, under cat. 582; not seen). Sean Leatherbury, 2009.
Works cited: Baron, Wendy, Sickert (London, 1973); Baron, Wendy, Sickert: Paintings and Drawings (New Haven & London, 2006); Baron, Wendy and Shone, Richard, Sickert Paintings (New Haven & London, 1992-3); Browse, Lillian (ed.), Sickert (London, 1960); Corbett, David Peters, Sickert (London, 2001); Shone, Richard, Walter Sickert (Oxford, 1988); Sickert. Paintings and Drawings (London: The Arts Council of Great Britain, 1960); Stephenson, William Henry, Sickert: the man, and his art: Random Reminiscences (Southport, 1940).