William Nicholson (1872 - 1949):
Joseph Chamberlain, circa 1903
Unmounted (ref: 959)
Lithographic reproduction of a hand-coloured woodcut, 15 x 16 1//2 in. (38 x 42 cm.)
Provenance: The William Heinemann Archive, 2004
A 'New Portrait of Joseph Chamberlain', mounted ready for framing and costing 2s 6d, was advertised in March 1903 - presumably to coincide with the sitter's promotion to the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer. Although advertised as new, this may be the portrait of Chamberlain published in November 1902 as part of the second series of Twelve Portraits, However, this cannot be stated with certainty, and so the work is listed separately at this point.
In a letter to J. L. Garvin of 24 January 1905, Nicholson states that Chamberlain did not give him a sitting. Nicholson adds that he would be able to do Chamberlain more justice in some future portrait if he sat still, and if he [Nicholson] could 'study him also when he didn't know - at a dinner or something of the kind'.