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January 16 , 2010

Francis Nicholson (1753 - 1844)


Hailed by his contemporaries as the 'Father of Water Colour painting in this country', Francis Nicholson's career spanned nine decades. He witnessed the founding of the Royal Academy, the opening of the first public 'Picture Gallery', the founding of the National Gallery, and the Inaugural Exhibition of the Society of Painters in Water Colours of which he was a founder member.
He was born in Pickering in North Yorkshire and for some fifty years painted portraits and scenes mainly in the northern counties. After moving to London, he became a fashionable drawing master and an early exponent of the medium of 'lithography' - the art of making prints from drawings on stone. Although largely forgotten since his death, recent exhibitions have begun to establish his reputation again.

Professor Gordon Bell writes widely on the arts and was curator of an exhibition of Nicholson's work in North Yorkshire. Colin Coulson is author of 'Francis Nicholson of Pickering' and Judy Dixon is founder of the 'Nicholson Group', dedicated to making the man and his work more widely known.

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