CHEVALIER, Nicholas. 20733

£100

Description

Autograph Letter Signed, to Spencer Ponsonby, congratulating him on “the well earned distinction”, and thanking him “for the trouble you kindly took to forward my work for Her Majesty”. 1 page 7 x 4 inches, fine. 5 Porchester Terrace, 6 March 1872. Uncommon. Nicholas Chevalier (1828 –1902), Russian-born artist who worked in Australia and New Zealand. In 1851 Chevalier moved to London and worked as an illustrator in lithography and water-colour. He also designed a fountain which was erected in the royal grounds at Osborne, and two of his paintings were hung at the Academy in 1852. Further study in painting followed at Rome. In late 1854 Chevalier sailed from London to Australia on board the ‘Swallow’ to join his father and brother, and arrived in Melbourne on 25 December. In August 1855 he obtained work as a cartoonist on the newly established Melbourne Punch. Later he did illustrative work for the Illustrated Australian News and also worked in chromo-lithography. In 1864, when the National Gallery of Victoria was founded, an exhibition of works by Victorian artists was held. The government agreed to buy the best picture exhibited for £200. Chevalier’s oil painting The Buffalo Ranges was selected, and was the first picture painted in Australia to be included in the Melbourne collection. In 1865 Chevalier visited New Zealand, travelling widely and doing much work there which was exhibited at Melbourne on his return. In 1869 he joined HMS Galatea as an artist with the Duke of Edinburgh, on the voyage to the East and back to London with stops in Tahiti, Hawaii, Japan, China, Ceylon and India. In January 1874 Chevalier was commissioned by Queen Victoria to travel to St Petersburg and paint a picture of the marriage of the Duke of Edinburgh.