Archibald Keightley Nicholson

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Archibald Keightley Nicholson
East Window, St Peter and St Paul - geograph.org.uk - 534869.jpg
East Window, St Peter and St Paul, Ewhurst, Surrey
Born 1871
Marylebone, London, England
Died 25 February 1937 aged 65
London, England
Nationality United Kingdom
Occupation decoration artist
Known for ecclesiastical stained-glass

Archibald Keightley Nicholson (1871–1937) was an English 20th century ecclesiastical stained-glass maker. His father was Charles Nicholson and his two brothers, Charles and Sydney, were a church architect and church musician respectively.

During his lifetime Nicholson is said to have carried out over 700 windows, including work in the cathedrals of Newcastle, Chester, Lincoln, Norwich, Southwell, Bradford, Worcester (the Edward Elgar memorial window) and Wells.[1]

He designed the rose window of the south transept at Church of Christ the King, Bloomsbury, along with a 1932 window dedicated to St Stephen Harding in the Musicians' Chapel at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, both in London. The latter church also contains a Memorial Window to him, by Gerald E.R. Smith, with the following inscription:

"To the glory of God. In memory of Archibald Keightley Nicholson, Master Glass Painter, who worshipped at this church. This window is designed and carried out by the craftsmen of his studios as a thank offering for his life and friendship. 1871 - 1937."

He also designed a window at St John the Baptist, Wonersh.[2] The east window there is his earliest work - it is dated 1902, shows Christ with St George and St Alban (it was commissioned in memory of two soldiers, hence the military saints) - and he also produced its two smaller windows in the north wall depicting the Madonna & Child and the Annunciation.

In St Wilfrid's Church, Mobberley is Nicholson's window to the memory of George Mallory who, with Andrew Irvine lost his life climbing Mount Everest in 1924.[3][4]

The Lady Chapel of Waltham Abbey church contains three windows by Nicholson. They depict the Annunciation, the Nativity and the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. Work on the 'missing' window - to depict the Epiphany - was interrupted by the Second World War and never resumed.

The East window behind the altar in the church of St Peter and St Paul's in Ewhurst, Surrey was commissioned as a memorial window for Captain William Ralph Frecheville who was executed after capture 9 January 1920 aged 24, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, whilst serving as part of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War.[5]

Several good windows by Nicholson may also be seen in St Gabriel's church, Swansea. The largest of these is the great east window above the high altar which was dedicated in 1925.[6] The principal figures are the archangels Gabriel and Michael, flanked by figures representing the Te Deum and with the Doctors of the Church in the lower panels. The style would appear to be a little dated, but the Vicar at the time was obviously delighted: "a triumph of the artist's skill", he wrote, "the beauty of the design, the richness and blending of the colours, the majesty of the figures, the expressions of the faces make it the grand and inspired conception of one who is at the same time a great artist and a devout Catholic". There are smaller windows on the south side of the sanctuary also of 1925-26 showing Saint Helen and Saint Catherine of Alexandria but in a more contemporary style. Finally the windows in the Lady Chapel over the altar and on the south wall are also by Nicholson. They also date from 1925–26 and depict themes related to the life of Our Lady including some rather unfortunate twee baby angels.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Times, 7 February 1937, p.14 col. b
  2. ^ "Stained Glass Windows, Brasses and Paintings". Parish of Wonersh with Blackheath. Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  3. ^ Richards, Raymond (1947). Old Cheshire Churches. London: Batsford. p. 241. 
  4. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus; Edward Hubbard (2003) [1971]. The Buildings of England: Cheshire. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 282. ISBN 0-300-09588-0. 
  5. ^ http://www.ewhurstfallen.co.uk/Men-research/frecheville/frecheville.htm
  6. ^ "Main window". St Gabriel's church, Swansea. Retrieved 2009-01-26.