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Walter Richard Sickert; Thérèse Lessore

6 of 21 portraits of Walter Sickert

Walter Richard Sickert; Thérèse Lessore, by Cecil Beaton, 15 September 1940 - NPG P869(21) - © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London

© Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London

Walter Richard Sickert; Thérèse Lessore

by Cecil Beaton
vintage bromide print on white card mount, 15 September 1940
8 3/4 in. x 10 1/8 in. (222 mm x 257 mm)
Given by Cecil Beaton, 1968
Primary Collection
NPG P869(21)

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  • Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer. Artist associated with 1088 portraits, Sitter associated with 354 portraits.

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Events of 1940back to top

Current affairs

Following the German invasion of the Netherlands, Belgium and France, Neville Chamberlain resigns and Churchill is appointed Prime Minister making the famous speech: 'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.' The Battle of Britain ends the Phoney War with Germany's attack on the nation from the air. Britain's cities, airbases and ports are bombed during the Blitz.

Art and science

With little access to sculpture materials, and a bombed out studio Henry Moore starts experimenting with drawings of war subjects. After taking shelter in a London Underground station during an air raid Moore was inspired to begin a series of Shelter Drawings. With a commission from the War Artists Advisory Committee, headed by Kenneth Clark, these became some of the most popular example of official war art.


Britain's attempt to defend France against German invasion by landing troops on the French coast ends in failure; France surrenders and Britain is left to face the Axis Powers alone. While the Dunkirk Landings were a failure, the heroic rescue of troops by a fleet of English civilian boats was a victory for morale, and the 'Dunkirk Spirit' came to stand as an emblem of British triumph in adversity.

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