La Hollandaise Nude

La Hollandaise Nude, c. 1906, Sickert, Tate, London, UK
La Hollandaise Nude, c. 1906, Sickert, Tate, London, UK

Sickert passionately wanted to show the naked female form without idealisation. This is one of several paintings showing a naked woman in poor surroundings: on an iron bed in a dimly-lit room. The painting does not reveal the woman’s identity, but the title (‘The Dutch Girl’) may refer to the nickname of a prostitute in a novel by the nineteenth-century French author, Honoré de Balzac. The seedy feeling of the painting is reinforced by the way Sickert has made it. The brushmarks form a surface so rough that, if you look at it closely, the image seems to fragment.

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