Andrew Nicholl was born in Belfast, the son of a shoemaker. At 18, he was apprenticed to journalist Francis Dalzell Finlay. In 1828, he made 101 watercolours of the Antrim coast. He moved to London in 1830, regularly returning to Ireland. Nicholl travelled to Ceylon in 1846 to teach at Colombo Academy. While there, Colonial Secretary Emerson Tennent commissioned him to illustrate his book ‘Ceylon’ (1859). They travelled to Kandy together in 1848 and Nicholl described the trip in an article in ‘Dublin University Magazine’ (1852). Several Ceylon drawings were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1849 and Queen Victoria purchased two in 1870. Nicholl also presented a volume of them to the British Museum in 1883. He died in Camberwell, aged 82.
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