Nestor, Ray (1888 - 1988)
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Ray Nestor, worked in all mediums, for many years depicting scenes from his beloved Kenya, and then in the latter part of his life, having left Africa and retired to Sussex, images from English life.
Ray Nestor was born in 1888 in India. His first arrival in East Africa was in 1912, but the First World War followed shortly after and he fought in France where he was severely wounded. On returning to Africa he resumed work as a government surveyor until he and his wife Dorothy decided to farm in Kenya. They settled in the beautiful Nandi Hills in western Kenya. Here Nestor prolifically drew and painted the African scenery, wildlife and people. Many of his works were of the local Nandi tribespeople whom he depicted with the greatest sensitivity both in detailed painting and pen and ink, and also filling his sketchbooks with beautiful drawings.
Nestor was also an accomplished landscape and wild animal artist, usually in watercolour, and also a portrait artist, carrying out a number of portrait commissions for prominent members of the famed Muthaiga Club in Kenya (subject of the film 'White Mischief'). In 1988 when Nestor was 100 years old, The Fountain Press published a book of his work and memoirs - 'An African Sketchbook' with an introduction by Elspeth Huxley.
Nestor and his wife left Africa for England in 1950 and he continued to paint and draw with the scenes now being from London city life, the countryside, portraits and horse racing.
Ray Nestor has a permanent exhibition of his work in The Margaret Thatcher Library at Moi University, Kenya.