<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
Walter Richard Sickert, 1860–1942
La Giuseppina
1903 to 1904
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
21 1/2 × 18 3/16 inches (54.6 × 46.2 cm), Frame: 30 1/4 × 26 1/2 inches (76.8 × 67.3 cm)

Signed in black paint, lower left: "Sickert"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
brushstrokes | costume | couch | interior | map | portrait | sofa | studio (work space) | woman
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Walter Richard Sickert spent the winter and spring of 1903–4 in Venice, where he had been a regular visitor since 1895. Forced indoors by the incessant rain that winter, he hired prostitutes to pose for him in the dingy apartment he had rented for the season near the Rialto, which served as his studio. He referred to each of them by a nickname. In this case he dubbed his model “La Giuseppina,” and she became his favorite, regularly sitting for him as he worked diligently from 9 to 11 am and 1 to 4 pm each day. In a letter to a fellow artist, Sickert described “the uninterrupted pleasure of these kind, obliging little models” and how they liked to amuse him “with smutty talk while posing like angels.” It was in Venice that Sickert first began painting figures in domestic interiors inspired by the example of his mentor, Edgar Degas.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Although Sickert was quite at home in Venice, having spent long periods living there between 1895 and 1904, during the severe winter of 1903-04, he was all but confined to his lodgings at 940 Calle dei Frati, San Trovaso, and forced to paint interior subjects in the gloom. Sickert employed local models such as 'la Inez,' who came from the fishing village of La Chioggia in the lagoon of Venice, and 'la Giuseppina' whom he shows here, in one of at least three known versions of the subject, sitting on the sofa in the studio. Sickert remembered "her mop of black hair in a setting of living crimson and rose, a map, rose and green, of Venice on the wall," however in this version even those notes of color are pared down. Subjects such as this led Sickert directly into the penumbral world of Camden Town.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2008

Figuring Women - The Female in Modern British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 2008-03-28 - 2008-06-08) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Acquisitions : The First Decade 1977-1986, Yale Center for British Art , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1986, p. 9, 19, no. 50, N590.2 A7 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Wendy Baron, Sickert : Paintings and Drawings, , Yale University Press, New Haven, 2006, p. 282, no. 192.2, NJ18 Si12 +B375 2006 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

H. F. Constantine, SIckert in Sheffield, Burlington Magazine, vol. 99,no.655, October 1957, pp. 346-7, N1 B87 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 202-203, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Giuseppina, Studio, v. 141, May 1951, p. 132, J10 St94 OVERSIZE (HAAS) [ORBIS]

La Giuseppina, Studio, v. 167, April 1964, p. X, J10 St94 OVERSIZE (HAAS) [ORBIS]

Paul Mellon's Legacy : a passion for British art [large print labels], , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 1, N5220 M552 P381 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Duncan Robinson, Acquisitions : The First Decade 1977 - 1986, , Burlington Magazine, vol. 128, October 1986, pp. 9,19, no. 50, N1 B87 128:3 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Richard Shone, Walter Sickert, Phaidon, Oxford, 1988, p. 28, fig. 19, NJ18 Si12 S56 (YCBA) [YCBA]

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.