• PATHOLOGICAL GAMBLING AND OIL PAINTING


WALTER SICKERT 

THE SYSTEM 1924-26

Image: Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

This show is currently on at Pallant House in Chichester, most of the paintings are of Dieppe where Sickert spent many summers.  In the last room of the show however, I was delighted to see a set of three paintings depicting gambling scenes and this one in particular illustrates the timeless quality of addiction.  Pathological gamblers in Sickert's days were as desperate then as they are now, still chasing their losses and still losing every penny before they leave the casino. 

This man's posture reflects his total despair, something my patients have often described once they come to the National Problem Gambling Clinic for help.