Though Nicholas St John Rosse paints a wide range of subject matter, most of his paintings are centered around the human figure and in recent years use beach settings, in particular at the water's edge. He likes to find ways in which the figure can relate to water and sand both in reality and pictorially. The visual fusion of water, sand and rock enveloping people fascinates him, and he tries to use these elements as an extension of the model's mood.
Nicholas paints in oil, though in the past he has used a variety of different media including egg tempera. For his beach compositions, ideas come from sketches and colour studies done in situ on the beach. These can be used directly to make paintings in the studio, or they can be the stimulus to produce more detailed drawings or paintings from models posed in the studio or outside, which then find their way into the final composition. Nicholas is constantly seeking new means of gathering studies in pencil or paint near the water in changing and challenging conditions of the weather and tide. When necessary, he will take photos. Sometimes, he will work entirely from imagination or memory.
Born 1945 Hampstead, London.
Educated University College School, Hampstead.
Life drawing Burgh House.
Early '60s moved to Italy. Studied in the studio of Pietro Annigoni and attended the Scuola del Nudo of the Florence Academy.
Moved to Spain. First two one man exhibitions.
1966 returned to England. Married in Belgium.
Life and portrait painting at Heatherley's.
1968 onwards exhibited extensively in London and the provinces. Numerous portrait commissions.
1981 moved to Cornwall with family and ran residential painting courses for a number of years. Worked in Adult Education
Has continued exhibiting in one-man and group shows and regularly receives commissions for portraits and for figure groups in coastal settings.
Made full member of the RSMA in 2012.
Twice recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award, Montreal.
Early '60s first group show with Gruppo Donatello, Florence. First one-man shows Malaga, Spain.
Late '60s Society shows at RBA galleries, Suffolk Street. RP, RBA etc.
'68 and '69 first London one-man shows at Highton Gallery, St. Paul's EC4.
'70s One-man and mixed shows at:
Arts Unlimited, Grosvenor St. W1
Hilton Gallery, Park Lane, W1
Alpine Club, S. Audley St., W1
Ten Contemporaries, Hilton Gallery
English and Italian Artists, Arts Unlimited
Annigoni Exhibition, Indian Tea Centre, Oxford Street
Campbell and Franks, New Cavendish St. W1
Gallery Vincitore, Brighton
Gallery 20, Brighton
Ash Barn Gallery, Petersfield
New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham
Century Gallery, Henley on Thames
Foyles Art Gallery, Charing Cross Road
Kensington Fine Art, Calgary, Alberta
Galerie de l'Etuve, Liege, Belgium
'80s to present: one-man and/or regular representation at:
Waterside Gallery, St. Ives
Little Picture Gallery, Mousehole , Newlyn
Barbican Gallery, Plymouth
Dart Gallery, Dartmouth
Anna Mei Chadwick, New Kings Rd. and Cork St.
Peter Hedley Gallery, Wareham, Dorset
Royal Gallery,Tunbridge Wells â€“ now Biddenden â€“ Kent
John Noott, Broadway, Worcs.
Artifex, Sutton Coldfield
Jack Fine Art, Helmsley, N. Yorks
Rock Institute, Rock, Cornwall
Many group shows including the RA Summer Exhibition, the RWA and regularly with the RSMA.
Work in public collections: Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. St Paul's Cathedral,London. Truro Museum Cornwall etc.
Articles for The Artist Magazine and The International Artist Magazine
Though Nicholas St John Rosse paints a wide range of subject matter, most of his paintings are centred around the human figure, especially in a beach setting. The artist typically creates initial sketches and colour studies done in situ before completing a piece in the studio. He is also prepared to take photographs or work from imagination, should the circumstances require it. This artist is reluctant to replicate earlier work, principally because they tend to be highly personal and private commissions. An artwork will take around a month to complete.
Britannia Royal College in Dartmouth (two portraits of Admirals)
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Nicholas St John Rosse RSMA -
Nicholas St John Rosse RSMA - 2017
Nicholas St John Rosse RSMA - 2019