Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Nicholson, George (1795?-1839?)

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NICHOLSON, GEORGE (1795?–1839?), artist, was son of Mrs. Isabella Nicholson (née Wilkinson), and brother of Samuel and Isabella Nicholson. The whole family engaged in artistic work. The mother executed remarkable copies in needlework of well-known pictures. These were wrought in silk with the finest needles; and in some cases of landscapes the sky was painted on a background of silk velvet. A specimen of her work in the writer's possession is a copy of ‘The Grecian Votary,’ by Nicholas Poussin, in the National Gallery. A similar copy of ‘Belshazzar's Feast’ and a portrait of George III were, with many other examples of Mrs. Nicholson's handicraft, exhibited in Liverpool, and disposed of there about 1847.

Between 1827 and 1838 George exhibited at the Liverpool Academy exhibitions some fifty drawings, mostly landscapes in water-colour or in pencil. With his elder brother Samuel (who drew with great skill with the lead-pencil, painted in water-colours, and taught drawing) he published: ‘Twenty-six Lithographic Drawings in the Vicinity of Liverpool,’ fol. Liverpool, 1821; and ‘Plâs Newydd and Valle Crucis Abbey,’ 1824, plates, 4to. The illustrations were drawn in a fine line, and more resemble woodcuts than was usual in early lithographs. George is believed to have died about 1839. Samuel died from the effects of the bite of a mad dog about 1825. A sister, Isabella Nicholson, exhibited drawings in water-colour and pencil of flowers, birds, and occasionally landscapes, at the Liverpool Academy between 1829 and 1845.

[Liverpool Exhibition Catalogues; private information.]

A. N.