Artist: Sir William Nicholson English (1872-1942) Also known as Beggarstaff along with James Pryde, Scottish (1866-1941)
Plate: NLT. 05
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
Rotten Row by W.E. Henley (British poet, 18949-1903) from "London Types"
TIME, the old humourist, has a trick to day
Of moving landmarks and of levelling down,
Till into town the Suburbs edge their way,
And in the suburbs you may scent the Town.
With MOUNT ST. thus approaching MUSWELL HILL,
And CLAPHAM COMMON marching with the MILE,
You get a HAMMERSMITH that 'fills the bill',
A HAMPSTEAD with a serious sense of style.
So this fair creature, pictured in 'The Row',
As one of that "gay adulterous world", whose round
Is by the SERPENTINE, as readily be found
On STREATHAM's Hill, or WIMBLEDON's, or where
Brixtonian kitchens lard the late-dining air.
"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)
Rotten Row is a broad track running along the south side of Hyde Park in London. It leads from Hyde Park Corner to Serpentine Road. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Rotten Row was a fashionable place for upper-class Londoners to be seen horse riding.
"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)