• Cayton Mill near Scarborough, Yorkshire -
    Price on request

    Signed and inscribed on the original mount: F. Nicholson 1793 and inscribed by the artist on the back of the original mount: F. Nicholson Knaresborough Yorkshire/or at No 58 Cornhill London and further: Miss Erskine with Mr Carr’s Compts/Leeds 29 October 1793

    Pen and black and ink and watercolour over pencil

    23.5 by 32.8 cm., 9 1/4 by 13 inches



    Mr Carr, a Merchant, Leeds;

    Given by him to Miss Erskine, 1793;

    With Agnew’s 2004;

    Private Collection, UK, until 2011



    Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole, Francis Nicholson, March-May 2012


    Cayton is a village on the coast four miles south of Scarborough. The mill at Cayton was still recorded in the 1850s but has long since disappeared.

  • Pistyll Rhaeadr, North Wales -
    Price on request

    Watercolour over traces of pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour and stopping out

    39.1 by 29.3 cm., 15 ½ by 11 ¾ in.



    With Michael Bryan


    Nicholson appears to have visited Wales for the first time in about 1799 on a sketching tour with his twelve year old son Alfred and his patron and probable pupil, Sir Thomas Gage (1781-1820). North Wales had become more accessible in the late eighteenth century with the improvement of the turnpikes. The waterfall of Pistyll Rhaeadr became a great attraction for both tourists and artists at the time and was known as one of `the seven wonders of North Wales.’ Nicholson here exaggerates the size of the waterfall to create a memorably Romantic image.

  • Octon Lodge, East Riding, Yorkshire -
    Price on request

    Circle of Francis Nicholson

    Octon Lodge, East Riding, Yorkshire

    Watercolour over pencil on original mount

    284 x 400 mm., 10 x 15 ¾ in.


    This is a view of Octon Lodge looking north towards the Yorkshire Wolds. The house sits to the west of the village of Octon in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is recorded as the seat of Robert Prickett in Langdale’s Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire of 1822 as well as in his will of 1844. Prickett, who married Anne, daughter of Samuel Salt of Tottenham in 1798, also had a property in Harley Street, London and appears to have leased out Octon Lodge. In 1838 it was occupied by a gamekeeper John Stephenson and in 1841 by a farmer Charles Harrison. The building still exists today, much altered but recognisable, on the B1249 opposite Eddsfield Airfield.


    We are grateful to Lucy Denton for her help with identifying the subject.

  • The Head of Windermere, Cumberland -

    Watercolour over pencil

    39 by 56.5cm., 15 ?  by 22 ? inches


    This is a view of the North end of Windermere taken from the road north of Low Wood with Brathay Hall visible on the far shore. Brathay belonged to the Braithwaite family and was a farmhouse before being sold in 1788 to George Law who enlarged the farmhouse and it became known as Brathay Hall. In 1799 it was sold on to Charles Lloyd and from May 1804 the house was rented by the amateur artist John Harden. The Langdale Pikes are visible in the clouds behind the Hall.



    With Frost and Reed, 1945


  • Hackfall Wood near Ripon, Yorkshire -

    watercolour over pencil heightened with scratching out
    28.7 by 41.2cm., 11 1/4 by 16 inches
  • Kirkstall Abbey from across the river Aire, Yorkshire -

    Watercolour over pencil

    30.0 by 42.0 cm., 11 ? by 16 ? inches


    Nicholson was born in Pickering, Yorkshire and lived in various Yorkshire towns before moving to London in 1803. He painted mainly views of Yorkshire and Scotland and, later in life, London. He built up such a successful career as a drawing master in London that he stopped exhibiting from 1833. Nicholson was one of the founding members of the Old Watercolour Society and this may be the view of Kirkstall Abbey he exhibited there in 1805, no.108, or his Royal Academy exhibit of the subject in 1803, no.434.


    Kirkstall Abbey stands on the river Aire about three miles north-west of the centre of Leeds. Another view of Kirkstall Abbey by Nicholson was engraved by J. Walker and published in 1799.

  • View of Westminster Bridge and the Thames -

    Pen and black and ink and watercolour over pencil

    30.7 by 43.1 cm., 12 by 17 inches



    J. & W. Vokins, London;

    A Deceased Estate


    This is a view of Old Westminster Bridge over the Thames, taken from Lambeth with the gatehouse of Lambeth Palace just in view on the right.  The bridge was constructed between 1739 and 1750.  The jumble of buildings that made up Westminster Palace can be seen alongside Westminster Hall, with St Margaret?s and Westminster Abbey behind, with the spire of St Martin?s in the Fields visible on the far side of the bridge.


    Nicholson was born in Pickering, Yorkshire and lived in various Yorkshire towns before moving to London in 1803. His subject matter tends to be of Northern England and Scotland and his London views are rarer. He built up such a successful career as a drawing master in London that he stopped exhibiting from 1833. This is an example of his `stained drawing? style and is likely to date from the 1790s.


    An exhibition of his work continues at the Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton le Hole, Yorkshire until 20th May 2012 and there is an accompanying catalogue, Francis Nicholson (1753-1844), Painter, Printmaker and Drawing Master by Gordon Bell, Colin Coulson and Judy Dixon. We are grateful to Professor Gordon Bell for his help in cataloguing this watercolour.

  •  Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire -

    Watercolour over pencil

    290 x 411 mm., 11 ½ x 16 ¼ in.


    Fountains Abbey is about three miles south-west of Ripon and is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England. It was founded in 1132 and thrived until Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s. 

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