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Nicola SIMBARI - - Italian Artist (1927 - )


The life of this superb Artist is surely a Story worth telling !!

His inspirational Art and distinctive career, from the 1950s up to his illness in the early 2000s, surely makes him a “subject” 
worth “A Story”!

That he followed his OWN ‘mind-set’, and did not follow any particular trend, makes him a “breath of fresh air” in an Art World full of ‘isms’, and ending up with sharks in formaldehyde!

Nicola and I were married, in London, on October 1st. 1957 and OUR “Adventure” began - - - and what an Adventure it was to be !!

I am an ‘artist’ from a different field - - -Theatre ! (Dame Lillian Braithwaite was my aunt, and Joyce Carey, my cousin and Godmother)- - - the Drama of this Artist’s life is obvious . . . his love of the Circus (as it was when he was a child), and most of all, the Saltimbanchi  who traveled around Italy, when he was growing up, inspired many, many of his early works.

In January 1969 Jenny was born . . . Nicola and Jenny were inseparable !! As soon as she joined “our Circus”, she became Nicola’s “new inspiration” . Whether on the swings in the Jardins de Tuilleries or riding her bicycle at the house (villa) or “being a ballerina” . . . the list goes on !!

Later, in the late 70s, he had a much acclaimed Exhibition, depicting his ‘Love’ of the Circus, in Paris and then in New York
- - - Le Cirque Simbari !!
He followed this success with an exciting Show based on the Paris Nightclub
“The Crazy Horse Saloon” at the request from the owner, M. Alain Bernadin - - -
‘Les Girls’ were gorgeous and he was thrilled to be asked to prepare a Show (in Paris) celebrating the Club’s 25th Anniversary.
The Clown - Nicola Simbari
This Show led to a small collection of Formula One Racing in the early ‘80s, painted at the request of Mr. Mansour Ojjeh and shown, by him, in Monte Carlo.
Tag in the Box - Nicola Simbari Which, in turn, led to another small group of works painted for AUDI, at the request of the then Director General, of The Rallye Cars  - - -

He IS Italian, you know !!! If he had not been a Painter,  I think Racing-car Driving would have been his ‘next choice’ !!
However, SIMBARI is most famous (and copied!) for his Seascapes, of his beloved Mediterranean !
Greece, Italy, Spain, Tunis . . . and Portugal -

Later, after visiting Florida, the West Indies, Mexico, and Brazil, he was inspired by the Sun, Sea and ‘freedom of Spirit’ he met in these “exotic” places.
Mediterranee - Nicola Simbari
Yet, Southern Italy  always  ‘captured his Spirit’, as we traveled around, “looking for Inspiration”
Mediterranee - Nicola Simbari - - Capri  was his favourite ‘stopping-off’ place, for a rest,and there are countless examples of his excitement when he was there.
From seascapes,  to the Piazzetta, to restaurants and the small streets, even the famed “Salto di Tiberio” !
His last “collection”, before he became too ill to paint, was of the American South-West . . .
Did he know then, he would no longer be able to paint ?!

These few Works are so “touching” and inspirational . . . they make you believe there IS someone/something greater than “us”
Navajo Girls - Nicola Simbari
. . . he was never to paint again.

After several serious strokes, in the early 2000s, he is now an invalid, mostly confined to his bed . . . “we” are lucky to have his “diaries”, as ‘testimony’ of his Colour-filled Life - - - his works are spread across the world, in Great Collections, and hanging on the walls of ‘people’ who just love  the inspiration and the joy of living that he gives . . .

I did not intend to become “the woman behind the man” when we first met - - - but, I now consider it an honour to be called that . . . and perhaps I was !

Since going on the Web with ‘stories’ of our life together (whilst he did what he most loved to do, “Create Visions of the Moment”), I am inspired by how many people have contacted the Site . . . many who have NEVER Seen or Heard of Simbari !! They want to know more !!

I wonder if it is not “time” to talk about ‘Inspiring Art’ . . . instead of having “an Intellectual View of the Few”, which does not necessarily reflect the “everyman” . . .

Please feel welcome to contact me if this ‘story’ of an Artist-of-our-time should interest you.

Sincerely, ES


Elfrida 2012


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