Gilded carved wood frame
Sickert spent the summer of 1916 in Chagford, Devon and all works of the area originate from this year.
The churchyard there became one of Sickert?s favourite subjects to depict and several sketches, studies and oils were produced of the churchyard with it?s gravestones silhouetted against the Devonshire countryside.
This work is a study for a larger oil in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge which was bequeathed to the museum by Lilliam Browse.
Painted at a time during the height of the greatest losses on the Western Front during WWI, the contrast between the daily newspaper reports and the peace and tranquility of a Devonshire churchyard cannot have been lost on Sickert. This may well account for the prominence given to the gravestone cross in the centre of the painting.
Perhaps it was Sickert's way of depicting the futility of war and his memorial to the many thousands who were losing their lives at this time.