29th January 1840 at Church Street Douglas, son of William
Nicholson, house painter and decorator.
Excellent draughtsman who spent much time sketching in pencil the people and places of the Island. According to many it was only his aversion to public acclaim and his non-commercial attitude that prevented him from ranking with the most successful Victorian painters.
After his visit to Italy his syle became much more
His work is much sought after, the Manx Museum has a major collection bought with money from the Baume Trust (acquired by trust in 1918 but transferred to Museum in 1927 and added to over the years); he also designed the murals in St Thomas' Church Douglas. Provided many of the illustrations in A.W.Moore's Manx Note Book of 1885-7 He was also interested in photography.
See appreciation in Mannin by Archibald Knox
His grandson, John Hobson Nicholson, 1911-1988, was also an artist of great talent who amongst many other works designed many of the first Manx stamps when the Island took over its own postal service.
Two galleries of reproductions are available:
(note his middle name has often, wrongly, been given as Millar as
in the anonymous biography of 1931)
[Douglas, Joseph E.] John Millar Nicholson, 1840-1913 Douglas: Victoria Press 1931
S. Harrison 100 Years of Heritage (ISBN 0-948308-04-4)1986 pp102-6
Ingram et al, Art of Mann Surby:Moods of Mann (ISBN 0-9524304-3-6) 1996
P Kelly, The Nicholson Murals in St. Thomas Church Douglas: Isle of Man Victorian Society 1985;
Valerie Roach, Douglas in the 1890s - the Photographs of John Millar Nicolson Douglas: Times Press (ISBN 0-948588-00-4) 1973 (rpnt 1985)