CARDIFF.- National Museum Wales
has acquired one of Walter Richard Sickerts (1860-1942) paintings, entitled The Rialto Bridge and the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, c.1902-04, thanks to a significant funding grant from the Art Fund and a contribution from the Derek Williams Trust.
The purchase was made possible through the support of the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for works of art, who awarded £35,000, as well as the Derek Williams Trust and generosity on the part of the vendors. This oil on canvas will beautifully complement and enhance other Venetian works by artists in the Museum collection such as Antonio Canaletto, Monet, Whistler, Eugène Boudin, Frank Brangwyn and the recently acquired works, View of the Palazzo Loredan dellAmbasciatore on the Grand Canal, Venice by Francesco Guardi and Venice, Evening by Howard Hodgkin.
Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales possesses two other Sickert paintings, Camden Town Portrait, 1914-15, and another Venetian view Palazzo Eleonora Duse, 1904. There are also seven etchings and two drawings in the collection.
The new painting, which cost £70,000 after significant tax concessions, will be an important addition to Amgueddfa Cymrus display British Art around 1900: Looking to France . The work clearly illustrates the international cross-currents between Britain and France that the display aims to demonstrate. The painting is a fine example, both of the influences which affected Sickerts work and his development of innovative techniques.
Walter Richard Sickert became one of the most influential artists in the development of figurative art in early twentieth-century British Modernism. In London he studied at the Slade School then with James McNeill Whistler. He also spent periods living in France and was profoundly influenced by the Impressionists, in particular Edgar Degas and Claude Monet. Sickert became a leading figure in the New English Art Club, and later the Camden Town Group and the Euston Road School .
Sickert made a number of prolonged trips to Venice in 1895, 1896, 1900, 1901, 1903 and 1904. In 1898 he moved his main residence from London to Dieppe and began increasingly to court the Parisian and French art worlds while gradually withdrawing his association with the New English Art Club and other exhibitions in London , until he returned there definitively in 1905.
Anne Pritchard, Assistant Curator of Historic Art, Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales said: We are delighted that weve acquired this Walter Sickert painting. We are deeply grateful to the Art Fund for their support in allowing the museum to seize this rare opportunity to acquire an exemplary painting by a highly significant artist.
Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said: Were pleased to have assisted the National Museum Wales to add a prime work by so distinguished an artist as Walter Sickert to its collection. It is the latest in a series of high profile additions to Wales national collection which we have been proud to play a role in bringing to the public.
For the first time, the full range of the nations world-class art collection a mix of fine and applied art, from the historic to the contemporary - is displayed under one roof at National Museum Cardiff, giving a new visibility to art in Wales and the art of Wales.
The National Museum of Art features six impressive new contemporary art galleries, which offer 40% more space to display art from post-1950. Until now the Museum had only one gallery to display its range of modern and contemporary art, which is one of the UK s most important collections.
National Museum Cardiff is one of Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales seven national museums. The others are St Fagans: National History Museum , the National Roman Legionary Museum , Big Pit: National Coal Museum , the National Wool Museum , the National Slate Museum and the National Waterfront Museum .
Entry to each Museum is free thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.