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$ 18,000

Piazza of the Bocca della Verita and the Temple of Vesta

Documentation Signed
Documentation Notes Signed in ink on lower middle left: V. Nicolle
Inscribed by the artist in black ink on verso of mount: Vue du temple de Vesta aujourd'hui Ste Maria du Soleil a Rome
Inscribed in an old hand in graphite on lower left of verso of mount: No. 7
Origin France
Period 18th Century
Materials Black and brown ink and watercolor over preliminary indications in black chalk on cream laid paper; ruled border in brown ink; original mount
W. 12.13 in; H. 7.94 in;
W. 30.81 cm; H. 20.17 cm;
Condition Good.
Creation Date 1754-1826
Description Nicolle studied at Jean-Jacques Bachelier’s drawing school, the École Royale Gratuite de Dessins, under Malhortie, a professor architecture and perspective. Making rapid progress in his technique, Nicolle won the grand prix de perspective in 1771, and worked, until 1774, in the studio of the architect and set designer, Louis-François Petit-Radel, who had just returned from Rome and instilled in the young artist a passionate love for the Eternal City. Nicolle eventually traveled to Italy, where he spent a great part of his life, between periodic visits to Paris, local scenes of which he sometimes depicted in watercolor. Eventually arriving in Rome, seemingly for the first time in 1779, he returned, for at least two lengthy stays, from 1787 to 1799 and from 1806 to 1810. Although Rome especially fascinated him and was the inspiration for most of his watercolors, Nicolle traveled throughout the Italian peninsula, documenting, with his pen and brush, the cities of bologna, Florence, Naples, Venice and Verona. Indeed, he became known as one of the most active and charming chroniclers of the Italian tour. Although never shown at the Salon in Paris, his work was much appreciated and sought after by collectors.
Little is known of his life and his career; it is chiefly through his watercolors, most of which are signed and some of which are dated, that he is remembered. Although his finished works were completed in a studio, with only the preliminary sketches in pen and wash drawn from life, Nicolle’s watercolors have a realism and sensitivity to the gradations of light reminiscent of the plein-air painters. Nicolle’s singular style, uninfluenced by the work of the great contemporary French landscapists, such as Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Hubert Robert and Claude-Joseph Vernet, was novel, expressing a distinct clarity of form and luminosity of color which was perhaps more characteristic of the early nineteenth century than of the late eighteenth century.
Styles / Movements Old Master, Other
Incollect Reference Number 305347
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