Nicholas St. John Rosse was born in 1945 in Hampstead, London, and was educated at University College School. From an early age he became interested in painting, encouraged and enthused by watching the landscape painter Donald Towner at work in the open air and visiting his studio.
 
On leaving school, a few months' employment at Clifford Milburn (Reeves) gave him the opportunity to become familiar with the work of Pietro Annigoni. Nicholas went to see him in Italy with a portfolio of drawings and three very beneficial years in Florence followed, as a student with the master and attending the Scuola Del Nudo of the Florence Academy.
 
Nicholas has exhibited widely in one-man shows in London, the counties and abroad and also in numerous group exhibitions including the R.A., the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Royal West of England Academy and the Royal Society of Marine Artists. He is a regular contributor to various art magazines.
 
He has twice won the coveted Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award, and has works in their collection. This Montreal based foundation exists specially to encourage artists working in representational styles.
 
In 1981, Nicholas moved to Trethevy on the North Cornish Coast where the wild cliffs and beaches provide the artist with endless settings for his figure/beach compositions