Artist: Sir William Nicholson English (1872-1942) Also known as Beggarstaff along with James Pryde, Scottish (1866-1941)
Plate: NLT. 01
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
'Liza's old man's perhaps a little shady,
'Liza's old woman's prone to booze and cringe:
But 'Liza deems herself a perfect lady,
And proves it in her feathers and her fringe.
For 'Liza has a bloke her heart to cheer,
With pearlies and a barrer and a jack,
So all the vegetables of the year
Are duly represented on her back.
Her boots are sacrifices to her hats,
Which knock you over-like a load of brinks!
Her summer velvets dazzle WANSTEAD FLATS,
And cost, at times, a good eighteen-and-six.
Withal, outside the gay and giddy whirl,
'Liza's a stupid, straight, hard-working girl.
"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)
Coster, or Costermonger is a street seller of fruit and vegetables in London and other British towns. The term is derived from the words costard (a medieval variety of apple) and monger (seller), and later came to be used to describe hawkers in general.
"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. The girls who sat with the baskets of flowers for sale 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)