On a lovely, sunny autumn day last week I had a pleasant walk through Hyde Park which set me up perfectly for this very good exhibition devoted to Winifred Nicholson and her observations of the landscape and still-life paintings of her beloved Cumberland.
It was a pleasant surprise to see the figurative painting above, titled - Starry Eyed (1927), an intimate portrait of husband Ben with their first child Jake, as I was only familiar with Nicholson's still life and landscape paintings. It is a very tender scene, and the warm palette used reflects the obvious love experienced between the couple at the time. It is also great to see a female artist giving a twist to the parent/child theme in art by creating a portrait of a father being affectionate with a child. Most paintings on this theme usually feature the mother and child, such as those by Henry Moore, or the Madonna and child portraits of the Renaissance.
The rest of the exhibition consists of landscapes and still lives. Apart from Starry Eyed, my favourite painting was -The South Parlour (c1950), bottom, which had the most intense, luminous colour and soft brushwork, and is clear evidence of Nicholson's reputation as a skilled colourist
Winifred Nicholson In Cumbria
until 10th December
Crane Kalman Gallery
178 Brompton Road