Nicholson, William Newzam Prior 1872-1949 British AR The Dandelion Field.
Auction: July 2022
8 x 5 ins., (20.5 x 12.75 cms.), Oil on Panel, Good condition, Dated 1892 by Reid and 1888 by William's grandson. Illustrated on page 17 in colour of Reid and 17 in CR. The painting was exhibited at the RA in 2004 and illustrated in colour on page 33. It features in Schwartz pp 68 and 152. "I know the Dandelion Field well, an important and significant work, but the other two are new to me." Desmond Banks, The William Nicholson Trust. The frame on the painting is original and was made by William himself. The painting has excellent provenance. William gave four paintings to his sister Mabel Graham which include the three we have for sale. In due course Mabel gave them to her daughter Phyllis Graham. Phyllis had been a nurse in World War I in India. She then moved back to the UK to nurse during the flu pandemic. "On her retirement from nursing she moved with her husband to Zigzag farm, Hastingleigh near Wye, Kent. It was while she was living in Zigzag farm she met Gordon Davies, our client's brother. Gordon was a member of a loose group of artists calling themselves the East Kent Artists. As time passed after her husband's death, Phyllis found it more difficult to live on her own. Gordon kindly offered her a room in his own house for her to live out her last years. On her death she willed the paintings to Gordon. On Gordon's death, our client, his sister, acquired the the three paintings and the prints all of which are for sale on July 4th. We can follow the painting's history from the day it was painted to the date of our sale. Our client was chased by Patricia Reid, the author of Nicholson's Catalogue Raisonne, for details of the Dandelion Field and our other two Nicholson paintings to help complete her book. If we accept the date of 1892 for the Dandelion Field, it was painted just at a time when Nicholson had been to Herkomer's Art College and a few months at the Academy Julian in Paris in 1891. Paris was not for him. He was asked to leave Herkomer's establishment in 1891 after he posed a nude with an umbrella. Rather harmless really. It was at this time he met and was much influenced by Whistler, who urged William's father to encourage him to have a career in art. Whistler thought very highly of William's ability. William also was mixing with and taking ideas from Scottish painters. He shared a studio with E.A.Walton and often showed with the annual spring exhibition of the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts. Dandelion Field was probably painted near Bushey. we know he made several trips there and lived near there in 1892. The artist is viewing the field and the young girl coming through the grass and dandelions almost at ground level. He also has the shape of his easel showing at the bottom of the painting, a device entirely particular to him.