Walter Richard Sickert

Noctes Ambrosianae

1906
This print is based on one of a number of paintings of London's Middlesex Music Hall (also known as "The Mogul Tavern") on Drury Lane that Sickert carried out in 1906. He was so taken by the popular entertainment presented there that he went every night. The title refers to a series of satirical dialogues first published in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine between 1822 and 1835, reprinted many times as a book throughout the nineteenth century. The dialogues poke fun at contemporary life and could easily have been transformed into comic theatre. In this print Sickert focuses on the music hall audience rather than on the eccentric performance that entertains them. He represents the cheaper gallery section above the stage where a boisterous yet devoted clientele are gathered. The equivalent theatrical audience in France was known as "les enfants du paradis" for their lofty, yet critically privileged position.
Title
Noctes Ambrosianae
Date
1906
Medium
Print
Materials
etching and aquatint on heavy wove paper
Dimensions
32.2 x 45 cm; plate: 21.8 x 25.4 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 1932
Accession number
4075

More from Walter Richard Sickert