A portrait of Cicely Hey by Walter Sickert, offered for sale at Skymeadow Gallery in Essex.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

A striking model, though not in the conventional sense, Hey (or ‘Kikely’ as Sickert nicknamed her) was described by the writer, Frances Partridge, as “rather elfin or pixie-like” in appearance.

Sickert was less flattering, writing in a letter to Hey “God made your face with a chopper”, although he also wrote of her “funny little beautiful, sane dear face”.

Hey was an artist of note in her own right, having studied at the Slade and, towards the end of the 1920s, she exhibited at the Lefevre Gallery which included her own drawings of Sickert and Duncan Grant among others.

This 23½ x 17½in (60 x 44cm) portrait of Hey by Sickert has resided in a private collection and is for sale at Skymeadow Gallery in Essex, a specialist in Modern British art.