WORKS BY WILLIAM NICHOLSON
Nicholson was one of the greatest painters of still-lifes of his time. His flowers, bowls and jugs are distinctive and masterly, and his depiction of reflections in lustre and polished surfaces is second to none.
From his early years in the 1880s until 1940, Nicholson painted portraits for pleasure and profit. Many distinguished and not so distinguished twentieth century figures sat for him, and some of his portraits are among his finest work.
Nicholson had a particular affinity for the Sussex and Wiltshire Downs, and often returned to them in his landscapes, but his paintings of the sea also demonstrate his mastery of colour, light and shade in his work.
Nicholson was able to capture the character of a building, and bring vivacity to it, in the same way that he could all other subject matters. The flair of his paintbrush gave life to static structures and inanimate objects, immortalising them in the process.
Nicholson’s woodcuts from the 1890s are very much of their time, but they still feel fresh today. Typical of them was Nicholson’s splendid and informal portrait of Queen Victoria and her terrier from 1897. Later work includes lithographs and book illustrations.
Heinemann published The Square Book of Animals, a collection of twelve woodcuts, in 1900. Nicholson illustrated Margery Williams’ much-loved The Velveteen Rabbit in 1922 and went on to write and illustrate his own The Pirate Twins and Clever Bill..
Nicholson was close to the London theatre, actors and impresarios. He designed the first production of Peter Pan for J M Barrie in 1904 and the costumes, sets and poster for Polly, by John Gay.