Nicholas Horsfield, the son of a naval officer, was born in New Malden, Surrey in 1917. He was placed in a class for boys who did not fit into a career pattern at Charterhouse, a public school that was rather enlightened towards the arts. His proposal to join the army was greeted with laughter when he discussed his future with his form teacher. Just before his eighteenth birthday, he enrolled in the Royal College of Art. He struggled, but his abilities were recognized, and he was surprised to learn that Herbert Read had rewarded him. He leased the top story of a barn near Guildford after he graduated from college. Unfortunately, a fire occurred, and he lost almost all of his efforts. He then went on to work at a Berlitz school in Leipzig, where he taught English.
Horsfield fought in the army in India and Burma during World War II. In 1946, he picked up his paintbrush again and painted from a rear room at his mother’s home in Rochester, where he discovered that the last session was when the images came together. He lacked the courage to look for a dealer, though.
He came to Manchester in 1948 to serve as a Regional Officer for Visual Arts for the Arts Council. He was ecstatic to have the chance to interact with other artists. Lowry was a sensible and balanced influence in his life, according to him. He became a frequent visitor to the Sandon studios in Liverpool, where he felt especially at home.
Horsfield leaped at the chance to teach at Liverpool College of Art because he wanted to further his work. He was a painter and an art historian who taught both subjects. He served as president of the Liverpool Academy from 1960 to 1965 and joined the Bluecoat Society’s leadership in 1960.
Horsfield took a break from teaching life drawing at the College in 1977 to devote more time to painting. During this period, he was inspired by the changing light and weather on the Crosby coast. He also began etching and subsequently transcribed ancient masterpieces.