RUINED CASTLE ON THE BANKS OF A RIVER
Signed to backboard
Oil on canvas
40 x 48.5 cm
Berttram Nicholls was born near Manchester, the son of a fruit merchant. He studied with Reginald Barber, a local portrait painter, and then attended the Slade School of Art between 1901-1904. A trip to Madrid in 1904 left a lasting impression on the young artist, who was particularly inspired by the works of Velasquez.
On his return to England, Nicholls worked with Frederick Jackson, a member of the Staithes Group of Artists, with whom he learnt landscape painting 'en plein air'. In 1911 Nicholls met another artist whose work was to have a direct influence on him: Frank Mura, a New Yorker who had moved to London and then Sussex with his German wife Charlotte (also an artist). Nicholls also settled in Sussex, very close to Mura's home, and the two may well have painted together during this period.
The artist's first solo show was held at Barbizon House in 1924 and proved to be an enormous success, with all of his paintings sold. He held a number of subsequent exhibitions there, and
elsewhere exhibited primarily at the New English Art Club, the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts (of which he was made President between 1921-1931) the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists and the Fine Art Society.
Today Nicholl's works are held in a number of collections both in Britain and Internationally, including the Towner Art Gallery (Eastbourne), the Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool), the Laing Art Gallery (Newcastle), the Manchester Art Gallery, Tate Britain (London) and the National Gallery of Ireland, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Scotland and Art Gallery of South Australia (Adelaide) among others.