Jack the ripper

Artist, actor, social justice warrior, serial killer: the many faces of Walter Sickert

‘It’s too dark and life is too short,’ was Walter Sickert’s explanation of his decision to leave London in 1898. Separated from his first wife Ellen Cobden and in financial trouble, he did a flit across the Channel to Dieppe. A magnet for artists in the summer season, the town had long been a popular subject for tourist views. ‘I see my line…’ he wrote soon after his arrival. ‘Picturesque work. This place Dieppe, is my only up to now, goldmine.’ The place had already had a transformative effect on his painting. It was while spending the summer there with his mentor Whistler in 1885 that he had shifted artistic