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John Nixon (before 1759-1818)


John Nixon (before 1759-1818)

One of the most notable amateur artists working in London in the late eighteenth century, John Nixon became best known for his caricatures of urban society.

John Nixon was the son of Robert Nixon, a successful Irish merchant. With his brother Richard, he too developed a mercantile career, living and working at Basinghall Street, near Guildhall Yard in the City. He was a special juryman at the Guildhall and a Captain of the Guildhall Volunteers. Yet at the same time, he moved in leading artistic and fashionable circles, acting as honorary secretary of the Beefsteak Club and producing a number of landscape paintings, caricatures and illustrations.

Nixon exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts between 1781 and 1813, while another of his brothers, the Rev Robert Nixon (1759-1837), was an honorary exhibitor between 1790 and 1808. As curate at Foots Cray, Kent, Robert played host to J M W Turner, who painted his first oil while staying with him in 1793, and gave him his first lessons in landscape painting.

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