The End . . . of a Great Entertainer and Artist - -

I started “the Diaries” Web-site to ‘correct’ much of the nonsense, and the many myths, printed and said about SIMBARI . . . now that his exciting Career and Life are at an end. I fear that it has been somewhat of a wasted effort!! So much ‘mis-information’ has been written about Nicola, and it distracts from the REAL STORY, which is much more exciting, amusing and worth knowing!

Full of Life, and with great humour, SIMBARI has always been a ‘rebel’, choosing to follow HIS “dreams”. Yet, he was also highly respectful of the ‘lessons’ passed to him by the Great Masters of the Renaissance. He spent his young years, in war-torn Rome, studying the great works of Art in the many, many Churches, in this Ancient City, and in the Vatican.
oil on canvas
©Nicola Simbari

He obviously had a unique talent, because at the tender age of 13 he was given a much cherished Scholarship to the respected Academia delle Belle Arte [passing out with ‘cum laude’ marks] . . . During this period, his father was interned by the “Allies”, and Simbari had to help his mother feed and clothe his younger siblings . . . one “job” was sketching portraits of GI officers, stationed at the Pincio, near Piazza del Popolo - - [interestingly, many, many years later, when I was running Nicola’s Gallery, L’Atelier Simbari, in New York - - - I received a photocopy of one of these ‘portraits’ !!] Paratina

gouache on paper
©Nicola Simbari


©Nicola Simbari
Early works of SIMBARI often show the area where he lived (Trastevere) with Gypsy camps and Fairs . . . with Fire-eaters and clowns and Tightrope walkers !! - - -

It was quite “normal” for these groups of Entertainers to turn up for a Festa (and there were many “feasts” in the Italian calendar – of then!)

- - - the excitement was buzzing through the city !!

His other ‘typical’ scenes were the Wine carts with their colourful barrels stacked up behind the driver and his mule (or horse), bringing the Wines from The Castelli Romane [Frascati, Grottsferrata, Marino etc.) to the trattorias dotted through the busy streets and piazzas . . .

A Rome that has all but disappeared !! Busy streets, still, but losing that “special Roman Chaos”!!

Carrello Romano
oil on canvas
©Nicola Simbari
El Fico

Blu Parade

Blu Parade   
oil on canvas   
©Nicola Simbari   
Then, often seen, elegantly placed near a famous monument, were the Carabinieri on horse-back . . . they were “Rome” . . . Nicola painted them ‘everywhere’ ! SUCH humour, and ‘love’, for his favourite Roman scenes . . . shortly after we were married, JB Lippincott, the Publishers, asked him to illustrate a popular book (of then), “DEAR FRIENDS and DARLING ROMANS”. . . SOOOO ROME, of those times !! An exciting and wonderful place to be - - - The War was behind us, The Future was OURS!!

I was amazed to find that “Wikipedia” makes NO mention of Nicola’s marriage to me! . . . this event was to change Nicola’s view of Life and HOW he lived it, dramatically! Nothing to do ‘with me’ - - Nicola became ambitious for his work to become “well-known” Internationally !

Nicola always  made his own decisions - - then, I would be ‘brought in to ‘help’ !!! The fact that I spoke ‘fluent English’, and he spoke very little, made my ‘part’ in his ‘story’, important!! It was clear that his Art was appreciated, and his First One-man Show, in London, at The Arthur Jeffress Gallery (in Mayfair) was a sell-out, with many people of note at the “vernisage” - - - During, our stay in London, for the Show, we were to meet many famous actors and celebrities of the Time . . . They became our friends, and Collectors of SIMBARI’s work . .

WHAT AN EXCITING TIME !!        Next “stop” New York !

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