Afansy Nikolsky (1909-1984)
watercolour, signed and dated 1953
Framed and glazed
Overall size including frame: 48.5 x 72 cm
Afansy Nikolsky and his wife Elena had managed to escape Kiev, location of their first marital home, when the Germans invaded Ukraine in WW2. They travelled through Europe with Afansy’s mother and their two children Maxim and Anton, ending up in the British zone in Germany, before opting to move to England in 1947.
Conscious or not that Hayling Island had, since 1931, been the sanctuary of compatriot Princess Catherine Yourievsky, they came to a UN camp for displaced persons at Bedhampton, soon relocating to 18 Northney Road, Hayling - their home for the next 37 years.
He worked in the fields at Northney Farm and spent every available moment sketching in the locality, eventually being able to make a living from painting. His worth was recognised by the Royal Academy’s inclusion of his ‘Silent Afternoon’ in their Summer Exhibition of 1960. Apart from the Royal Academy, Nikolsky’s paintings were exhibited at the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Society of Marine Artists.