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Nicholas Chevalier

Nicholas Chevalier was popular Russian-born artist. He worked in New Zealand and Australia. He was also known as N. C. This famous lithographer, illustrator and painter was born in Russia. His birthplace was St. Petersburg. He was born on 9 May 1828. The painter born to Louis, a Swiss Father and Tatiana, a Russian Mother. in 1902, he died in London.

Self Portrait by Nicholas Chevalier
Self Portrait by Nicholas Chevalier

Nicholas Chevalier was the key person in Sydney’s history as the person had quite a good collection of watercolors. The painter was also an official art advisor. He served at this position at the Art Gallery of NSW. The person was also considered as a highly proficient landscape painter.

Early Work of Nicholas Chevalier

In 1845, he shifted to another place, Switzerland. This place marked his beginning of studying drawing. He studied at Drawing Academy. This academy was affiliated to the Musée Arlaud in Lausanne. He was also a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

Here, he studied architecture in 1848. In 1851, his traveling to London changed his life. He went there to see the Great Exhibition. At this place, he started his lithographer training. At Royal Academy, he exhibited watercolors.

Again he moved to Melbourne in the year 1854. The painter sailed to Australia from London in late 1854. He joined his brother and father over there.  Nicholas Chevalier reached Melbourne dated 25 December. He started to work as a cartoonist in 1855.  He started working at Melbourne Punch, a magazine.

With this work, he was also worked at the commercial illustrator. In 1865, he published 12 landscape print in a form of a portfolio. This was a unique beginning. It was the earliest examples in the field of chromolithography in Australia. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Victorian Society of Fine Arts.

Milestones of Nicholas Chevalier’s Work

The Buffalo Ranges, an oil painting was the I Australian Artwork. This was purchased in 1865 for the National Gallery of Victoria.

The Buffalo Ranges
The Buffalo Ranges

During the duration of 1865-66, Nicholas Chevalier went to New Zealand. He made extensive records on this trip. In 1866-67, he exhibited at the Intercolonial Exhibition in Melbourne. In addition, he also exhibited in 1868 at the Paris Salon.

As an artist, he joined HMS Galatea in 1869 with the Duke of Edinburgh. When he was returning to London and during the journey, he stopped at Tahiti, Japan, Hawaii, China, India and Sri Lanka. He painted many pictures during this journey. These were displayed at South Kensington.

Queen Victoria commissioned Chevalier in the year 1874 to travel St. Petersburg. He painted the picture of Duke of Edinburgh’s marriage.

Duke of Edinburgh's marriage by Chevalier
Duke of Edinburgh’s marriage by Chevalier

Some Famous Work of Chevalier

  1. Wentworth River diggings, Gippsland

Wentworth River diggings, Gippsland


2. Mount Abrupt and the Grampians by Nicholas Chevalier

Mount Abrupt and the Grampians by Nicholas Chevalier
Mount Abrupt and the Grampians by Nicholas Chevalier