- Purchased 1972
- 277 x 254mm
William Nicholson was a leading British graphic artist, poster designer and painter. It was James McNeill Whistler who introduced him to publisher William Heinemann, who produced Nicholson’s first major woodcut portfolio, An Alphabet, as a set of lithographs in 1897. Heinemann was less keen when shown Nicholson’s Diamond Jubilee portrait of Queen Victoria. The editor of The New Review, however, seized on the work and the result was a portfolio of seven lithographs from woodcut originals, representing popular figures of the day: the others were Sarah Bernhardt, Cecil Rhodes, Lord Roberts, former German chancellor Otto von Bismarck, Rudyard Kipling and Whistler himself.
After the collapse of The New Review, Nicholson added five more subjects, including the heir to the throne, and had the series published in 1899 by a now more enthusiastic Heinemann. Nicholson’s Twelve Portraits series earned him a gold medal at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. With encouragement from Whistler, he then concentrated more on his painting.
(The Moon and the Manor House, 12 November 2021 – 1 May 2022)