Artist of the Month: Hilda Rix Nicholas

“I wish above all things … to associate my work with the portrayal of my own sunny land and her peoples.”

Hilda Rix Nicholas in a letter to John Robert Chisman (Source)
Hilda Rix Nicholas painting In Australia, c.1922-23
Hilda Rix Nicholas painting In Australia, c.1922-23

This month’s featured artist is Hilda Rix Nicholas. She was an Australian artist with a distinct, illustrative style. One of my readers recommended her to me. I’ll share their recommendation as it provides a succinct overview of her life and work.

“Your Henry H.  instantly reminded me of the brilliant Hilda Rix (Nicholas) that I’m sure you will adore. A female artist from Australia hugely popular in Europe in her time. The story of her early life as an artist will bring you to tears. Hilda Rix could be a great female artist you may like to blog about as they rarely get the credit they deserve. I’m sure you will love her ability to capture the light.”

She was taught by Frederick McCubbin, whose work I featured back in August 2022. This perhaps explains the strong fundamentals behind her work.

I saw one of her paintings in person at the New South Wales Art Gallery. Below are some photos I took. They don’t do the painting and its wonderful colors justice. This painting has an interesting contrast between the grandmother, who looks tired and is dressed in somber colors, and the colorful surroundings.

Hilda Rix Nicholas, Grand Mere, c.1914
Hilda Rix Nicholas, Grand Mere, c.1914

Look at that texture! (See the detail shot below.)

Hilda Rix Nicholas, Grand Mere, c.1914, Detail
Hilda Rix Nicholas, Grand Mere, c.1914, Detail 2

Here are some of her other works:

Here are some links about her life and work:

Thanks for reading!

Dan Scott

5 thoughts on “Artist of the Month: Hilda Rix Nicholas”

  1. I appreciate the different painters you feature and share. I learn an abundant amount from their styles and I’m in awe of the detail and light that is created from products and tools that were used hundreds of years ago.

  2. Truly inspiring work. Many of the views reminded me of things my Nan used and the gestures that were common to the women who worked at home.
    Thanks Dan .

  3. I think it’s very striking how the people are highlighted. It seems like she painted the background with a different technique, which is really Maki g the people jump out and seem very real. Beautiful work.

    • On further review it is not just people but whatever her subject is and then seems to paint the rest differently if it’s a landscape paints she picks a tree or trees to pop out.


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