Watercolour over pencil, 21 by 29 ins (53 by 74 cm)
Provenance: Wyndham Vint, Bradford
The picturesque hilltop village of Anticoli Corrado, some forty kilometres from Rome, has provided a natural retreat for artists throughout history. A group of painters that particularly claimed the village as their own were the winners of the prestigious Prix de Rome, awarded each year from the early 1920s, and for which Nixon was first ever recipient in the discipline of engraving in 1923. Whilst many of his contemporaries took their impulse from the village?s architecture, or its ideal setting for Piero della Francesca-influenced Allegorical scenes, Nixon found his inspiration in real people, as in the present work - farm workers involved in the hard manual toil of the land. Despite echoes in the work of artists such as Millet and Clausen, Nixon?s execution is very much his own, also revealing him to be an exceptional draughtsman. Later Nixon settled as part of the community in Newlyn, gaining a reputation as a true Bohemian and being drawn to another human subject, that of the Romany gypsies. Although best known as an engraver he had considerable success as a painter and watercolourist, exhibiting widely at the Royal Watercolour Society and at the Royal Academy where he exhibited thirty six works.