Oswald Sickert

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Self portrait (c. 1844)

Oswald Adalbert Sickert (21 February 1828 – 11 November 1885) was a Danish-German artist, considered a painter of dramatic genre, landscapes and an engraver from the English school.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Altona, Germany, the son of Johann Jürgen Sickert (1803-1864), who was also a painter end engraver.

He received his formal training from his father and at the Copenhagen Académie in Denmark from 1844-46. In 1852, he traveled to Munich to complete his studies, and thereafter to Paris for six months, before moving permanently to London.


He left Munich to settle in England at the time of the Great Exhibition, Oswald's work having been recommended by Freiin Rebecca von Kreusser to Ralph Nicholson Wornum, who was Keeper of the National Gallery at the time.

He opened a studio in London and eventually became a British citizen. His successful career as an artist included exhibitions at the British Institute, Grosvenor Gallery and several other London galleries.

Personal life[edit]

He married Eleanor Louisa Henry, the illegitimate daughter of the English astronomer Richard Sheepshanks (1794–1855).

He had five sons. Oswald Valentine, who became a successful salesman. Robert, who became a recluse and dies from injuries when he was hit by a lorry. Leonard, who died after a long battle with substance abuse. Walter Richard Sickert, flamboyant British impressionist who has been included in the long list of suspects in the Jack the Ripper mystery. And Bernhard Sickert, who was a painter and architectural engraver, suffered from depression and alcolholism.

His daughter, Helena Swanwick (1864–1939) was a noted feminist and pacifist.

None of his children produced grandchildren.

He is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.

Artworks and personal papers[edit]

Paintings and sketches by Oswald Sickert are held at Islington Local History Centre. The centre's Walter Sickert archive also contains papers related to Oswald Sickert.[1]


  1. ^ "Special Collections". Islington Local History Centre. Retrieved 3 March 2011.