Nessler, Walter: Boats in the Harbour


A creatively composed and beautifully executed painting combining the use of colour wash, watercolour and charcoal drawing and offered in a well-matched ornate and glazed frame.

The subject is almost certainly the pier at Morecambe where Walter Nessler painted several times in 1953/54. The pier was opened in 1869 and enlarged to create a 912 foot structure included a large pier-head, ideal for the steamers that called until 1914. The pier closed at Easter 1986 and, after several fires, demolition began in March 1992.

A lovely collection of Nessler’s work, including examples similar to the one offered here, can be found in Claire Tobin’s ‘Walter Nessler, 1912 – 2001: ‘Postwar Optimist” published by J & C Marshall-Purves in 2012.

More images can be provided on request.

Artist: Walter Nessler, (1912-2000), signed ‘Nessler’

Title and date: Boats in the Harbour, 1953

Size: 24 x 33 cms.


Artist description:

A painter and sculptor born in Leipzig, he studied in Dresden and came to London, in 1937. He strongly opposed Hitler’s Nazi regime and while working as a window-dresser, he placed the Star of David on top of a Christmas tree prompting his instant dismissal. He married Prudence Ashbee, a dancer studying at the progressive Wigman School, for whose theatre Nessler painted stage sets. He served with the British Army from 1940-47 then studied sculpture at St. Martin’s School of Art where later taught, his contemporaries included Elisabeth Frink. He started to make ‘relief pictures’ in polyester and first exhibited these at the Molton Gallery, London, 1961. Nessler exhibited in many mixed shows including at the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of British Artists. He held more than two dozen solo exhibitions and a retrospective in 1990 coincided with new recognition in Germany. He was made an honorary Fellow of the Dresden Academy and Galerie Berlin afforded him a solo show. Nessler’s pictures are held by several public galleries including the Royal Air Force Museum, the Art Gallery, Leicester and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

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