Studio: international art — 74.1918

Page: 3
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link:
License: Free access  - all rights reserved Use / Order
1 cm

STILL LIFE AND MR. WILLIAM —with much more penetrating eyes than most
NICHOLSON. BY SIR FREDERICK men' Nicnolson seems to me to be sometimes

WEDMORE a *^le too anxious to steer clear of being even

suspected of suggesting a vision or an aim that

WHAT is it you admire," I have has been entertained by another. Just now
been asked, before now— and then his performance seems to apprise
perhaps by some mid-Vic- us that he is himself insufficiently conscious of
torian connoisseur of paint- the extent to which Providence or the Fates
ing—" What is it you admire in the work of have decreed that William Nicholson shall be
William Nicholson ? " And, before now, I have unlike other people. There is no need for him
answered, " Everything." A large order ; but to consciously step in, in this matter. Laissez-
I made sure that circumstances would give me faire ! Providence and the Fates have taken
the occasion to modify, to explain. the business off Mr. Nicholson's hands.

In a sense that first abrupt reply of mine was For all that, there is one contemporary with
positively and literally true ; for when, indeed, whom, at least in certain moments and in
in surveying Nicholson's so various canvases certain efforts, it is difficult not to associate
—his Still Life pieces, his Landscape, and his William Nicholson. That is his brother-in-law,
Portraiture—when has one failed to recognize the fine imaginative painter, James Pryde.
in Nicholson's products the essential in every Working together more or less, now a whole
art: the man behind the performance, the generation since, as the " Brothers Bickerstaff,"
artist behind the labour? But the word there must have been—there clearly was—some-
" labour" should be banished altogether from thing in common, something they shared,
one's account of the matter;
for all that one is promptly
conscious of—save in the
case of some unlucky acci-
dent—is the sense of an
off-hand, rapid, absolutely
happy deliverance : a thing,
a person, an event, seen
clearly, and straightway
boldly and most knowingly
grappled with.

But now for some words
of leisurely qualification of
the first impulsive pro-
nouncement. William
Nicholson is an absolutely
typical, but much less a
positively ideal artist. He
is an artist who is sponta-
neously, inevitably original,
but yet an artist perhaps
just one little bit too much
concerned about originality..
Seeing most things—why
not again say, everything ? " silver " oil painting by nicholson

LXXIV. No. 303.—June 1918 3
loading ...