Artist: Sir William Nicholson English (1872-1942) Also known as Beggarstaff along with James Pryde, Scottish (1866-1941)
Title: Skating/ December
Original Lithograph from "An Almanach of Twelve Sports""
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
Skating by Rudyard Kipling (English, 1865-1936)
from "An Almanach of Twelve Sports"
Over the ice she flies
Perfect and poised and fair-
Stars in my true-love's eyes
Teach me to do and to dare!
Now will I fly as she flies...
Woe for the stars that misled!
Stars that I saw in her eyes
Now do I see in my head!
"William Nicholson’s woodcut images are perhaps the most revolutionary British prints of their era. He changed the whole concept of the visual imagery of woodcut as a medium. Dramatic and revolutionary in concept, the woodcuts that he made for the "Almanach of Twelve Sports" commissioned from him by his publisher Heinemann. Each is a work of the very greatest genius. The bold simplicity of the form, using just touches of definition, and the reduction of the drawing to a pattern of black and white are illustrations of that genius... The bold and stylized black border all suggest the influence of a knowledge of Japanese prints, works which were hardly known at all in England at that date except through those shown at the Great Exhibition in Paris. Yet at this period Nicholson had had no real contact with French art and could only have seen such Japanese prints through illustrations in magazines. It is a measure of the individual genius of his inspiration that he arrived at the expression of such sophisticated and revolutionary visual forms at such a young and inexperienced age.
Nicholson’s woodcuts were hand cut by him on the blocks. the first impressions were then hand-printed in black ink onto sheets of thin India paper mounted onto stiff card backing sheets. The prints were then coloured each by hand by him in water-colour. The prints were signed in black ink on the backing sheets. Following these impressions the image was transferred to a lithographic stone and the popular edition "Almanach of Twelve Sports" printed, with lithographic colours and no signature" (Weston)