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 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 drawing. Three very beneficial years in Florence followed, as a student with the master and attending the Scuola del Nudo of the Florence Academy.
Nicholas St. John Rosse has exhibited widely in one-man shows in London, the counties and abroad, and also in numerous group exhibitions including the Royal Academy, The Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Royal West of England Academy and the Royal Society of Marine Artists. In 2012 Nicholas was elected to full membership of The Royal Society of Marine Artists. He is a regular contributor to various art magazines.
In 1981, Nicholas, his wife Chantale and their two sons Alexandre and Sebastien moved to Trethevy on the North Cornish coastwhere the wild cliffs and beaches provide the artist with endless settings for his figure and beach compositions.