Sir Herbert Read was one of the leading art critics of his generation and a prolific writer. He championed the work of British artists including Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Paul Nash. In 1948 Read edited the first of two major volumes on Nicholson's art published by Lund Humphries and Nicholson was continuously indebted to his support.
In the present work Nicholson adjoins his own design to one of Read's poems, something similarly done by Hepworth in The Poet Reading to his Children (Leeds City Art Galleries) and Moore in 1945 (Private Collection), which are both directly tied to Read's poetry. Nicholson had experimented to great success with the printed medium from the late 1920s, ably combining the printed and painted media. Nicholson commonly reworked his printing proofs which were never fully editioned, adding ink and oil washes to create new and unique images which he termed 'mixed media on an etched ground'.
The title of the present work refers to Nicholson's residence in Switzerland, where he moved to from St Ives in 1958. Located on Lago Maggiore just north of the Italian border, he lived there with his third wife, Felicitas Vogler, whom he married in 1957.
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