Winsor & Newton

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Winsor & Newton
IndustryFine Art materials
Founded1832; 187 years ago (1832) in London
FounderWilliam Winsor
Henry Newton
Area served
ProductsOils, alkyds, watercolours, acrylics, pastels, artists' brushes, canvases, papers, Plein air equipment
BrandsGalaria, Finity, Winton, Artist Oils, Cotman Watercolour, Artist Watercolour, Designer Gouache, Artist clean and deep cotton canvas

Winsor & Newton (W&N) is a company based in London, UK that manufactures a wide variety of fine art products, including: oils, alkyds, watercolours, acrylics, pastels, artists' brushes, canvases and papers


Winsor & Newton ad in The Photographic Journal, 1914.

The company was founded in 1832 by William Winsor and Henry Newton. The firm was originally located at Henry Newton's home in 38 Rathbone Place, London. This was then part of an artists' quarter in which a number of eminent painters, including Constable, had studios, and other colourmen were already established.[2]

The standards of quality for W&N's most renowned line of kolinsky sable brush, the Series 7, began after Queen Victoria ordered it should be "the very finest watercolour brush" in 1866.[3] A few months before his death, Henry Newton sold the business to the newly incorporated firm of "Winsor & Newton Ltd.", which included members of both families amongst the shareholders. In 1937, W&N introduced its gouache paints.[2]

The company moved to Wealdstone in northwest London in 1937. After World War II, W&N opened a brush-making factory in Lowestoft. In 1970, the company introduced its first range of acrylics, and the first artists' alkyd oil colour came six years later. Later, in 1992, a series of oil bars were launched.[2]

The Winsor & Newton student range of watercolours was named after John Sell Cotman.


The art products made by Winsor & Newton:[4]

Ink bottle by Winsor & Newton

Products are distinguished by: size, series, material and function (eg. effects or process).

Product Range
Brushes Sable (Kolinsky sable, Series 7 & Squirrel), hog ('Winton'), Synthetic (Acrylic - 'Galaria' & Water mix oil - 'Artisan') , Sable/Synthetic ('Sceptre')
Paints Oil (Student-'Winton', 'Artist', 'Griffin'- fast dry,'Artisan' - water mix), acrylic ('Galaria' & 'Finity'), watercolour (Student - Cotman, Artist), gouache
Paint sticks Oil, watercolour, Pastels (UK only, discontinued internationally).
Drawing Summit wax crayons (discontinued), Soft Pastel (limited), Graphite pencils, Erasers
Inks Drawing and calligraphy inks.
Papers Cotman Watercolour pads, A6, A5, A4 & A3 soft & hard bound 300gsm watercolour books, Artist Series (Watercolour, Oil, Acrylic), Bleedproof marker card pad, Design Pads (bond, bank, bleed proof), Hard bound A5 & A4 cartridge books,
Canvas Clean Edge (thin) and Deep Edge (2xclean) 11OZ cotton primed canvas
Accessories Canvas boards, solvents, masking fluids, varnishes, Easels, Travel bags, Brush holders, Stools, Instructional books.

In popular culture[edit]

The Winsor & Newton paints are repeatedly referenced in Dorothy Sayers' 1931 detective novel Five Red Herrings, whose plot deals with a painter being murdered and six other painters being suspected of killing him. The painting habits of the suspects, including which kind of paint is used by each, turn out to provide crucial clues that eventually lead Lord Peter Wimsey to the real culprit.

In Michel Bussi's 2011 detective novel Black Waterlilies (French: Nymphéas Noirs) set in Giverny, "Winsor and Newton" is frequently referenced, although it is imagined to be an American, rather than a British, company.

Karlheinz Stockhausen and his studio assistants read product names from the Winsor & Newton catalogue aloud in his electronic composition Hymnen.


External links[edit]