Winifred Nicholson Cyclamen & Primula Square Unframed Print
Unframed giclée reproduction print
Size: 40 x 40cm
Cyclamen & Primula, c.1923
Printed in the UK exclusively for Kettle’s Yard.
Cyclamen and Primula was painted by Winifred Nicholson in Switzerland. In 1921 she and her husband Ben bought the Villa Capriccio, near Castagnola in the Ticino. Two years later they purchased Bankshead, a farmhouse in Cumberland which remained Winifred’s home for the rest of her life. Between 1921 and 1924 the Nicholsons spent the winters in Switzerland and the summers at Bankshead, painting still lifes and the local views.
This painting is one of the most important in a group of works made in the early 1920s. About half a dozen were completed by the beginning of April 1923, when in a letter the artist described them as “sunlight in white paper”. The series explores the theme of flowers wrapped in paper on a window-ledge and seen against the Alpine landscape. Nicholson wrote about it: “Ben had given me a pot of lilies of the valley – mughetti – in a tissue paper wrapper – this I stood on the window sill – behind was the azure blue, Mountain, Lake, Sky, all there – and the tissue paper wrapper held the secret of the universe. That picture painted itself, and after that the same theme painted itself on that window sill, in cyclamen, primula or cineraria – sunlight on leaves, and sunlight shining transparent through lens and through the mystery of tissue paper … I have often wished for another painting spell like that, but never had one.”
Nicholson was born Winifred Roberts in Oxford. She studied in London and Paris before marrying Ben Nicholson in 1920. She exhibited with her husband in the 1920s and was a member of the Seven & Five Society between 1925 and 1935. In 1937 she contributed to 'Circle' under the name of Dacre. After the war she settled in Cumbria.