Welcome to the 6th "Simbari Diaries" Newsletter

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Letter  6
Feb 2011

The Simbari Diaries

February Newsletter !!              

I thought that it would be “fun” to introduce you to the “Commercial Artist” whom I knew, when Simbari and I were first married . . . !!! In 1957.

I am always surprised at the “snobbism”, that it is considered “not good” to admit to Commercial work . . . but, after all, wasn’t Toulouse Lautrec a superb Poster Artist?? . . !!

I am proud of the wonderful Posters and Designs, that Nicola did then - ! So this ‘month’ I want to introduce to you some of the works that showed Nicola’s colours and sense of humour . . . and his extra-ordinary Gift –

Simbari - 'The Wines of Italy' I love this poster, designed for the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, for whom he often created pages for their magazine - - - and the Italian Ministry of Industry and Commerce . . . CEI [Commercio Estero Italiana]

“The Wines of Italy” (Vini d’Italia) Poster was a ‘sell out’ in the U.S. ! Years later, I ‘found’ it as part of the design for the Menu of a popular Italian restaurant in Palm Beach, Florida ! - - -

Talking of ‘menus’ - - - ! Here is the cover for the Menu of ‘Il Fico’, a long-time favourite eating-place for Actors and Directors from Cine Citta, - - and us (!). Nicola made a small oil painting for his friends, Mirella and Claudio Ciocca, who owned “Il Fico” [and still do!] and they used it [with his permission] for their very Roman menu - - -

What great charm ! Simbari - “Il Fico” hence the “Carrello Romano”!

This was a typical sight in the 50s . . . wine being taken by ‘local producers of wine’, to their customers in Rome, and the surrounding area.

In the early summer, I am arranging a Show to celebrate 50 years of Nicola’s ‘love affair’ with Frascati and the “Castelli Romani” - - -AND the WINE ! There will be a special “Simbari wine”, red and white, from Cantina Cerquetta, to celebrate the occasion - - -

Simbari - ”Italiana”
”Italiana” oil on canvas Nicola Simbari

** A special gift from SIMBARI to Vincenzo and Ida Ciuffa,
of Cantina Cerquetta **

There is a famous song, written by Renato Rascel, which could have been written for us!

“Arrivederci Roma” . . . and the words ‘fit’!  “Fettucini, vino dei Castelli ”. .
[Fettucini pasta and wine from the Roman Hills] - - - Nicola’s “Dream”

Nicola wanted to have his own ‘piece of land’ and make his own wine . . . and, in 1961, his “dream came true”  . . . and though it may have been the most expensive wine ever to be made . . . he loved “his” wine!

But . . . . The Wine has gone to my head . . . !!!! This is about Posters! 

Imagine my amazement - - - watching the News on ITN, in June 2010 . . .
a young reporter was telling us about “vintage Posters” discovered in an underground station, in London . . . there . . . in front of me, was the incredible Poster of “The Horse’s Mouth” and next to it another Poster, also by Nicola, for “Too Many Crooks” . . .

Simbari - Tube Station Posters There are two interesting links covering this story.

1). From ITN news Network. - Dated 17 June 2010

2). From the London Daily Mail ( Online ) - Dated 15th June 2010

Full Credits and links below:

1). ITN Source Video: (main site: http://www.itnsource.com/)
    Content link ->   TRANSPORT: 1950s movie posters discovered during renovation works in Notting Hill tube
2). Daily Mail online: (main site: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)
    Content link ->    Notting Hill posters: 1950s artwork in Tube station | Mail Online

Simbari - The Horses Mouth - Poster (from my collection of ‘old’ Posters)
designed by Nicola in the
late 50s and early 60s)
Simbari - "Too Many Crooks" - Film Poster

Here are some more examples from my Archives of his great poster and commercial works

Simbari - Posters Simbari - Posters
Simbari - Posters Simbari - Posters

“Caro Bugiardo”, or “Dear Liar”, was also printed in English for the U.S. and London stage performances of this delightful play, by Jerome Kilty.

Based on the ‘affair’ between Mrs. Patrick Campbell and George Bernard Shaw.

Nicola and Jerome Kilty were good friends. Often visiting our home in
“the Castelli Romani”, he asked Nicola to design a poster for his very successful play . . . it was a pleasure for Nicola, to ‘help out’ a good friend!

Simbari - "Caro Bugiardo" - "Dear Liar"

These are some of the “memories” that flooded back, when I saw the old SIMBARI Posters, in a forgotten part of the London Underground, last summer . . . I wish I had kept more of those wonderful examples of an incredibly talented artist’ “other work” . . . he could ‘turn his hand’ to any subject !

Enjoy ‘memory lane’ . . . I wonder what you will ‘think’ . . . or do you have any of his ‘commercial art’ ? . . . a true “virtuoso” !

      Regards Elfrida . . .

Web:     www.simbari.co.uk - The Simbari Diaries Website

Email:    elfrida.simbari@gmail.com