Winifred Nicholson (1893-1981)
Castagnola, circa 1923
oil on board
Verso: Kate Nicholson (1929-2019),
Cumberland Landscape, circa 1950
oil on board
59 x 74 cm.
Art and Life: Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis, William Staite Murray, 1920-1931, Philip Wilson Publishers, London, 2013, p. 15 (illustrated in colour).
Winifred Nicholson and Ben Nicholson spent the first three winters of their married life in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, near Lugano. Here, away from the London art world, and inspired by visits to Paris on their journeys to and from England where they admired works by Picasso, Rousseau, Derain, Modigliani, Van Gogh, Gaugin, Cezanne and Matisse, their experiments were 'fast and furious', as described by Ben Nicholson. They worked closely together and the depth of their creative partnership is vividly demonstrated by comparing Castagnola with Ben Nicholson's 1923 (Castagnola) (National Galleries of Scotland). For further information of their time in Lugano see The Allure of the South: the Nicholsons in Italy and Switzerland, 1920-23, Sebastiano Barassi, op. cit. pp. 8-17.
Cumberland Landscape is characteristic of the early poetical landscapes by Kate Nicholson, Winifred's daughter. Although Winifred Nicholson often painted on the reverse of pictures due to a shortage of materials it is rare for her to have shared a support with her daughter, although not unknown (see for example Skye (Kettle's Yard, Cambridge) which has a portrait by Winifred on the reverse). For more Cumberland landscapes by Kate Nicholson see Kate Nicholson, Jovan Nicholson, Philip Wilson Publishers, London, 2019.
We are grateful to Jovan Nicholson for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.