This might look like a bit of a crime scene at the moment as well but its just that I was at the Walker this morning before they had even finished hanging the pictures on the wall.
‘Partners in Crime’ is just the two paintings hanging side by side – Cézanne’s The Murder and Sickert’s Jack the Ripper’s Bedroom. The common theme for these two rather sinister paintings is murder.
Cezanne is often referred to as the father of modern art and is credited with influencing such artists as Picasso and Matisse. The Murder was painted in 1867 and is an early, dark example of Paul Cezanne’s work. A novel by Zola, in which the heroine murders her husband, may have inspired the choice of subject. In the painting, the murderer is lifting his hand ready to give the final blow, while his accomplice uses all his strength to hold the victim down.
Walter Sickert’s interpretation of Jack the Rippers Bedroom (1906) is a shadowy, macabre piece, with a bed just distinguishable beneath the filtered half-light coming through the blinded window. The colours used are muted and the onlooker is left with more questions than answers. Some believe that Sickert was Jack the Ripper.
The Cezanne is from the Walker’s collection and the Sickert from Manchester Art Gallery as this is one of a series of collaborations between the two galleries under the title of Partners in Art.
They are in the Impressionists room until May 31st 2006