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Nicholson, William (1872-1949)
by Scholes, Robert

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William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

William Nicholson was a painter, print-maker and theatre designer. His father was a member of Parliament and he was sent to study art at the Academie Julian in Paris. He started his professional career as a designer of posters and as a book illustrator but soon became an innovative and celebrated maker of woodcuts. He broke ground with his experimental techniques and his original woodcut portrait of Queen Victoria was one of the most famous British prints ever made. The striking contrasts of black and white of his woodcutting technique were used to great effect on posters, on which he collaborated with his brother-in-law James Pryde. They became known as the Beggerstaff Brothers.

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