Artwork by William Nicoll Cresswell,  Boaters and Figures on Shore

William Cresswell
Boaters and Figures on Shore

watercolour
signed and dated 1868 lower right
9.5 x 14.75 ins ( 24.1 x 37.5 cms ) ( sight )

Sold for $300.00
Sale date: April 27th 2021

Provenance:
Private Collection, Toronto

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William Nicoll Cresswell
(1818 - 1888) OSA, RCA

William Nichol Cresswell was born in Shoreditch, London. Following studies under several noted British painters, he emigrated to Canada in 1848. He settled on a remote farm in Tuckersmith Township in Huron County.

Although he did some farming, Cresswell was an artist, first and foremost. He quickly established himself in that capacity and began exhibiting at the Upper Canada Provincial Exhibition as of 1856, and continued to exhibit there every year until 1867. In 1866, he married Elizabeth R. Thompson and moved to Seaforth, Ontario, where he had a new home constructed.

Cresswell travelled extensively in Canada, to Georgian Bay in 1865, through Quebec and New Hampshire in 1866, to Lake Nipigon in northern Ontario in 1876. In the 1880s he visited the Maritimes and spent some time on the Gaspe Peninsula, travelling to Grand Manan in New Brunswick. The themes of his paintings varied, depicting landscapes, both rural and wilderness, as well as wildlife. He also favoured maritime coastal scenes based on his travels through Atlantic Canada.

Cresswell continued to exhibit his work at various exhibitions in Upper Canada and also in London, where he won a medal at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in 1886. In 1874, already he had been elected a member of the Ontario Society of Artists, and in 1880, he was a founding member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He was also known as an art educator and began teaching the young Robert Ford Gagen in 1863, and thirteen years later, a young George Agnew Reid. In 1887, he escaped from another cold Ontario winter to southern California. He considered making California his permanent home, but died the next summer at his home in Seaforth.