Francis Nicholson, OWS (1753-1844)
Nicholson was born in Pickering, North Yorkshire. He is known as the Father of Watercolour Painting. He was also an early pioneer of lithography. He studied with a local artist in Scarborough, before beginning his career in his native Pickering, producing sporting pictures and portraits for a variety of Yorkshire patrons. By the mid-1780s he was also making paintings of country houses, leading him to concentrate on landscapes in watercolour. From 1789, he contributed views of both Yorkshire and Scotland to exhibitions at the Royal Academy. He also supplied topographical views for the Copper Plate Magazine. He contributed "Views of England", in collaboration with the engraver Francis Jukes to "The Beauties of England and Wales", Author: Britton, John & Edward Wedlake Brayley - A book published in 18 volumes from 1801 to 1815. Although his market increasingly became London-based, Nicholson continued to live in Yorkshire - at Whitby, Knaresborough and Ripon. He did not move to London until about 1803. In 1804, he became a founder member of the Society of Painters in Watercolours, and was a regular and prolific contributor to its exhibitions. He wrote a handbook, ‘the practice of drawing and painting landscape from nature in watercolours’, which was published in 1820. Nicholson died in London and is buried in Brompton Cemetery. His self-portrait is in the National Portrait Gallery. He was also much admired by Turner.