Walter Sickert, La Rue Pecquet, 1900, oil on canvas, 55 x 45.7cm, Birmingham Museums Trust on behalf of Birmingham City Council, Image courtesy of Birmingham Museums Trust
After Sickert moved to Dieppe in 1898 architectural subjects formed a large proportion of his work. In 1900-1904 he took regular excursions to Venice where he made paintings of the city's grand vistas. However, it was his systematic exploration of the streets of Dieppe that led Blanche to describe Sickert as the Canaletto of Dieppe.
The Gothic church of St Jacques in Dieppe was undoubtedly one of Sickert’s most explored subjects. He examined the façade from different vantage points and developed two major motifs: the portal of Ste Catherine seen from the Rue Pecquet and the church’s West Front with its impressive rose window. Capturing his subjects under contrasting light effects, these paintings echoed a tendency for working in series that was famously explored by Monet during the 1890s in his representations of Rouen Cathedral. This comparison has led Sickert to be described as an English Impressionist, however he continued to plan his paintings in the studio from drawings, a method that distinguishes him from Impressionists on the continent.