Beggarstaff Brothers

British , 1872 - 1949

British painter and illustrator, Sir William Nicholson (1872-1949) and his brother-in- law, James Pryde (1866-1941), who was known for his striking graphical work and woodcuts, joined up in 1893 for a printmaking partnership, known as the “Beggarstaff Brothers.” Their posterwork is considered to be historically significant. Nicholson studied under Herkomer at Bushey from 1888-1890 and at the Academie Julian in Paris. His original woodcut portrait of Queen Victoria was one of the most famous British prints ever made. He produced woodcuts for “The Alphabet”, “An Almanac of Twelve Sports”, “Portraits” and “Types of London”. Nicholson’s woodcuts were hand cut, by him personally, on the blocks. First impressions were then hand-printed in black ink onto sheets of thin India paper mounted onto stiff card backing sheets. He then hand-colored each print in water- color. He signed his prints in black ink on the backing sheets. Nicholson was knighted in 1936. Pryde studied under the French Romantic painter William-Adolphe Bougueraeu in Paris before settling in London. As a partnership the two only last together until 1900.


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