Artist: Sir William Nicholson English (1872-1942) Also known as Beggarstaff along with James Pryde, Scottish (1866-1941
Plate: NLT. 08
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
Kensington by W.E. Henley (British poet, 18949-1903) from "London Types"
Far out of bounds he's figured-in a race
Of West-End traffic pitching to his loss.
But, if you'd see him, in his proper place,
Making the browns for bub and grub and doss,
Go East among the merchants and their men,
And where the press is noisiest, and the tides
Of trade run highest and widest, there and then
You shall behold him, edging with equal strides
Along the kerb; hawking in either hand
Some artful nothing made of twine and tin,
Cardboard and foil and bits of rubber band:
Some penn'orth of wit-in-fact that, with a grin,
The careful; City marvels at, and buys
For nurselings in the Suburbs to despise!
"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)
A street hawker on a London street. ca.1905
"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 stylized 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)