Painting of Jack the Ripper ‘suspect’ Walter Sickert sells in Oxford

Walter Sickert’s ‘Figures in the Rain’ was estimated to sell for between £4,000 and £6,000 at Mallams Auctioneers modern art sale on Wednesday.

Instead, the 26x18cm oil on canvas fetched £14,000.

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Figures in the Rain by Walter Sickert. Photo: Auctioneers Mallams

A spokesperson for Mallams said of the painting, which bears a signature on the lower left: “Having a work by Walter Sickert is obviously very exciting – his works are on display at the Ashmolean here in Oxford.

“His works are always dark with his palette, and that has fetched a really good price here.”

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Whether Mr. Sickert was involved in one of the world’s most gripping unsolved mysteries has been debated by the authors.

Oxford Mail: A poster for the capture of Jack the Ripper.  Photo: PAA poster for the capture of Jack the Ripper. Photo: PA

The ‘Jack the Ripper Tour’ website states: “Walter Sickert is one of Jack the Ripper’s most recent suspects, not having been named a suspect until some 80 years after the infamous Whitechapel murders.

“While Sickert’s name has been mentioned in connection with the Jack the Ripper murders by a number of different authors, the nature of his connection to the case is widely disputed.

“Some – like Stephen Knight – think he was an accomplice to the murders, while others – like Jean Overton Fuller and Patricia Cornwell – think Sickert was entirely responsible for the fall of terror and that he was the real one. Jack the Ripper.”

In 2002 Ms Cornwell published a book, ‘Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed’, about her theory that Mr Sickert was Jack the Ripper.

This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

Contact him by email: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailLiamRice

About Catharine C. Bean

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