Painting by alleged Ripper up for sale

Feb. 21, 2011 at 9:16 PM
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LONDON, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- A painting by Walter Sickert, the man U.S. mystery novelist Patricia Cornwell has identified as Victorian-era serial killer Jack the Ripper, is up for sale.

Numerous brutal slayings in London in the late 1800s were attributed to the shadowy figure known as Jack the Ripper, whose identity has never been proven.

Cornwell investigated the cold case and identified Sickert as the murderer in her controversial 2002 book "Portrait of a Killer -- Jack the Ripper: Case Closed."

Sickert's "The Blind Sea Captain," which was last on exhibition 80 years ago, is expected to fetch an estimated $97,000 at the 20th Century British Art Sale in London March 9, The Daily Telegraph said Monday. The painting had been in a private collection for decades until a few months ago.

Sickert expert Wendy Baron told the newspaper she was surprised to find a work by the artist she hadn't seen before.

Baron said the artist has created in "Captain" "an imaginary glimpse into the lives of a man broken by blindness who, but for the devotion of his old mother or wife, would be destined for the workhouse."

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