Sunday, January 2, 2011

Art Books: William Nicholson

First of all, before I forget – hope your New Year will be happy and prosperous!


I’ve been meaning to write about the books in my art book collection for quite a while and while I've posted a couple of entries on some of my books on this blog, I haven't been terribly disciplined about this . At first I thought I’d move sequentially through the stacks (for example, you’d get a long series of posts about all my books about drawing, since that is what’s on the top of the shelf) – but on second thought, I think that random selection might be best. I’ll start the new year with the book that’s been on my desk for several weeks now, The Art of William Nicholson (Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2004). [I just checked the price on Amazon – you really need to buy an art book when it’s first released, particularly an exhibition book. They get very expensive very quickly!]

Nicholson was born in 1872 in Nottinghamshire, England and died in 1949. Although he painted many portraits (and portraiture accounted for the main source of his income), today he is primarily remembered as a still life and landscape painter. He began his artistic life as a graphic artist which undoubtedly influenced his strong sense of drama and design in his later work.


His still lifes are sensually painted and are often painted from interesting vantage points. He also plays with light conditions, such as dramatically footlighting objects or having objects lit from behind. Shadows often play an integral part of the composition. I love looking at his still lifes.




ADG said...

I LOVE Nicholson. One of the most under-appreciated artists EVER. Woodblocks were really neat in his early career but wow...hist still lifes and his views of the Sussex Downs and his portraits.

Linda Tracey Brandon said...

I agree, ADG. And I keep wondering why, exactly, I like his work so much - there's drama, design, color, brush handling... but also the sense of an intelligent artist's mind at work. Thanks for posting.