Brighton Pierrots

Brighton Pierrots , the second version, in the Tate Britain,

Brighton Pierrots is a 1915 painting by Walter Sickert that depicts an outdoor theatrical performance. It is an oil on canvas measuring 63.5 x 76.2 cm and is in the Tate Britain.

In the painting, the Pierrots are seen from the side and slightly from behind. A few spectators' faces can be seen as well as empty deckchairs. The red evening sky is vivid, a reminder of a conflagration, a distant fire.

Born in 1860, Sickert was too old either to enlist or be conscripted in 1914. He experienced the First World War at a distance and in 1915 painted the unsettling Brighton Pierrots. Brighton at that time was a holiday town with no sense of holiday; the young men were away, and the distant sound of gunfire could be heard from across the Channel. Sickert's painting's subject matter is of the attempt to 'Keep Merry and Carry on', shadowed by an air of desperation.[1]

The artist painted two versions of the subject. The first is now at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. The second, in Tate’s collection, was commissioned by the barrister William Jowitt and his wife. The paintings are practically identical apart from small variations in composition and appearance. [2]


  1. ^ Andrew Graham Dixon, Radio Times, 13–19 September 2014.
  2. ^ nicola moorby brighton pierrots

External links brighton pierrots
nicola moorby brighton pierrots
chris stephens discusses brighton pierrots programmes
study for brighton pierrots liverpool museum

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