Art Brokerage: Walter Richard Sickert German Artist: b.1860 -1942. He was a painter who was a member of the Camden Town Group in London. He was an important influence on distinctively British styles of avant-garde art in the 20th century. Sickert's father, Oswald Sickert, was a Danish-German artist. His mother, Eleanor Louisa Henry, was an illegitimate daughter of the British astronomer Richard Sheepshanks. The young Sickert was sent to University College School from 1870-1871, before transferring to King's College School, Wimbledon, where he studied until the age of 18. Though he was the son and grandson of painters, he first sought a career as an actor; he appeared in small parts in Sir Henry Irving's company, before taking up the study of art as assistant to James Abbott McNeill Whistler. He later went to Paris and met Edgar Degas, whose use of pictorial space and emphasis on drawing would have a powerful effect on Sickert's own work. Just before World War I he championed the avant-garde artists Lucien Pissarro, Jacob Epstein, Augustus John and Wyndham Lewis. At the same time he founded, with other artists, the Camden Town Group of British painters, named from the district of London in which he lived. This group had been meeting informally since 1905, but was officially established in 1911. It was influenced by Post-Impressionism and Expressionism, but concentrated on scenes of often drab suburban life; Sickert himself said he preferred the kitchen to the drawing room as a scene for paintings. From 1908-1912 and again from 1915-1918 Sickert was an influential teacher at Westminster School of Art.He also briefly set up an art school in Manchester where he was to teach the artist Harry Rutherford who he later described as "my intellectual heir". Sickert died in Bath, Somerset in 1942, at the age of 81.