There are only two links between the three S’s whose works have been placed together in this excellent and enjoyable exhibition. The first link consists of two more S’s, Sex and Sin. The other is that all three turned to landscape painting in the latter part of their careers. Sir Walter Sickert and Sir Stanley Spencer needed the money and landscapes paid better. John Singer Sargent (who declined the knighthood proffered by King Edward VII) did so because he was bored with his assembly-line life as purveyor of portraits to the rich and would-be-celebrated. In one period of nine months he had “knocked off,” as Whistler would have put it, forty of these glitzy horrors, the style with which he is still associated. Sargent gave...


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