William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Joseph Chamberlain, circa 1903

SKU: 959
Lithographic reproduction of a hand-coloured woodcut, 15 x 16 1//2 in. (38 x 42 cm.)

Height – 42cm x Width – 38cm


The William Heinemann Archive, 2004

Published by William Heinemann, March 1903

Provenance: The William Heinemann Archive, 2004

A ‘New Portrait of Joseph Chamberlain’, mounted ready for framing and costing 2s 6d, was advertised in March 1903 – presumably to coincide with the sitter’s promotion to the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer. Although advertised as new, this may be the portrait of Chamberlain published in November 1902 as part of the second series of Twelve Portraits, However, this cannot be stated with certainty, and so the work is listed separately at this point.

In a letter to J. L. Garvin of 24 January 1905, Nicholson states that Chamberlain did not give him a sitting. Nicholson adds that he would be able to do Chamberlain more justice in some future portrait if he sat still, and if he [Nicholson] could ‘study him also when he didn’t know – at a dinner or something of the kind’.

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William Nicholson
1872 - 1949

Sir William Nicholson (1872 – 1949) was an English painter, also known for his work as an illustrator and author of children’s books.
He was the son of William Newzam Nicholson, an industrialist and Conservative MP of Newark, and Annie Elizabeth, the daughter of Joseph Prior and Elizabeth (nee Mallam) of Woodstock, Oxon.
He was a student at Hubert von Herkomer’s art school. Nicholson’s partnership with James Pryde, his brother-in-law, was conspicuous for striking graphical work and woodcuts – they were known as the Beggarstaff Brothers, and their poster work was significant historically. He married Mabel Pryde (1871-1918), also an artist, in 1893.
After 1900 he concentrated on painting, encouraged by Whistler.
He was knighted in 1936. Ben Nicholson and Nancy Nicholson were his children; as was the architect Christopher ‘Kit’ Nicholson.
He was involved in illustrating early volumes from Robert Graves, with Nancy, who was Graves’ first wife. He wrote and illustrated characteristic children’s books: The Velveteen Rabbit (1922) by Margery Williams and his own Clever Bill (1926) and The Pirate Twins (1929) for Faber & Faber.
He also designed stained glass, notably a memorial window at St Andrew’s Church, Mells.


SKU: 2620

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Li Hung Chang


SKU: 2622

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Lord Kitchener, circa 1900


SKU: 2037

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Dr Temple, The Archbishop of Canterbury, c.1898


SKU: 2038

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Henrik Ibsen, circa 1898


SKU: 2040

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Sir Henry Hawkins, 1899


SKU: 1801

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

President McKinley, 1901


SKU: 1056

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Lord Roberts on Horseback, circa 1900