Artist: Sir William Nicholson English (1872-1942) Also known as Beggarstaff along with James Pryde, Scottish (1866-1941)
Plate: NLT. 10
Original Lithograph from "London Types"
Printed by William Heinemann, London 1898
View the Complete Set and more works at the Nicholson Collection
Sheet Size: 10 3/8 in x 13 in 26.4 cm x 33 cm
by W.E. Henley (British poet, 18949-1903) from "London Types"
Army Reserve; a worshipper of BOBS,
With whom he stripped the smock from CANDAHAR;
Neat as his mount, that neatest among cobs;
Whenever pageant pass, or meetings are
He moves conspicuous, vigilant, severe,
With his Light Cavalry hand and seat and look,
A living type of Order,
in whose sphere Is room for neither 'hooligan' nor 'hook'.
For in his shadow, wheresoe'er he ride,
Paces, all eye and hardihood and grip,
The dreaded 'Crusher',
Might in his every stride
And Right materialized girt at his hip.
And they, that shake to see these twain go by,
Feel that the 'Tec',
that plain-clothes Terror, is nigh.
"Nicholson’s portfolio of London characters anticipated even the boldest of contemporary graphics with an approach to design that pulled no punches. Little wonder, then, that by the turn of the century, and at the age of just twenty-six, he was touted as Britain’s greatest living printmaker." (goldmarkart.com)
London mounted police service ca.1900
"William Nicholson's woodblock prints of the 1890's were amongst the most revolutionary British print images of the era. They used a treatment of form, with a stylised simplification of shape, and a handling of perspective and picture space which had had no precedent in British art. Influences of Japanese art, and a parallel thinking to, if not a direct knowledge of, the ideas of Toulouse Lautrec and of the Nabis painters in Paris at the same period can certainly be felt, although there is no record that Nicholson had actually studied either at this date.
One of the most famous of the groups of prints that Nicholson cut at this period was the series known as 'London Types'. This was made at the instigation of William Heinemann, who published all William Nicholson's early prints. The series portrays typical figures from London life of the period. Such as the girls who sat with the baskets of flowers for sale who were a familiar sight near 'Rotten Row' where the fashionable people of London society rode out on their horses at the edge of Hyde Park by Park Lane. The impressions of this popular edition were printed by taking a transfer from his woodblock onto a lithographic stone and adding lithograph colour" (Weston)