The second edition of The Nobile Folios is prefaced by Wendy Baron, the prime authority on Walter Sickert’s work and life. Vernet’s Dance Hall was painted by Sickert during the winter of 1920-21, most probably in Dieppe, and presents Sickert at his most ambiguous. Clues are virtually nonexistent, shapes are eccentric. Wendy Baron suggests that the painting does not depend on our understanding of the subject, and that it is much more interesting if it is seen as a gateway to the intriguing insights it affords into the uncompromising objectivity of Sickert’s eye and his mischievous intelligence.
It is these qualities that Bethan Stevens addresses so successfully in her short story ‘Daily Mirror’. Presented as a set of letters written to The Daily Mirror by ‘an Appreciator’ of the paper, a haunting story unravels that says as much about the early 20th century music halls as Sickert’s painting.
About the Nobile Folios
The Nobile Folios are monographic explorations of 20th- and 21st-century works of art. They are published by Sylph Editions in association with Piano Nobile – a London gallery that specializes in fine quality International, Modern British and Post-War art.
Each publication explores one work, and one work only, overcoming thereby some of the inherent limitations of reproducing great art in print. The Nobile Folios explore the sections of the work and try to replicate something of the experience of seeing it in the flesh.
The juxtaposed texts that form part of The Nobile Folios are informative associations and can represent words that might come to mind when one gazes at the artwork. The association, obvious or oblique, complements our exploration and enhances our experience of it.