GABRIEL NICOLET (French, 1856-1921) “AVENUE DES ANGLAIS, NICE, FRANCE”
In oil on canvas, signed lower left "G. Nicolet 1883"
Item # 809HXG15Z
A complex scene full of vivid color and life, Gabriel Nicolet depicts a busy seaside street in Nice during the last quarter of the 19th century. The wealth of figures and faces along the dusty dirt street brings the scene to life, allowing us a small glimpse into this jewel of a destination. His brush stroke is restrained and distinctive with a certain dream bleariness that balances a touch of impressionism with a high degree of technical realism in each subject. In the present example, almost every figure is in motion or about to move and Nicolet captures this beautifully. A pair of priests are ready to cross the road as the dust from the passing carriage settles down; a mother pulls her daughter along to the edge where a gentleman watches the commotion from his bench. A constable and his dog walk the road while in the distance groups of families are gathered on the sidewalk before the tall foliage lining the colorful buildings. The painting remains in exquisite condition on its original lining and is housed in an early and attractive silver-gilt cove molded frame.
Gabriel Emile Edouard Nicolet was born in Pons, France (Charente-Maritime) in 1856. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Liége and also in Düsseldorf and Paris. He lived in Morocco from 1877 to 1888, where he was a correspondent for the London Illustrated News. He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris, winning a bronze medal in 1889 at the Exposition Universelle, a third-place medal in 1895 and a silver medal in 1900 at the Exposition Universelle. (Source: E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Gründ, 2006, vol. X, p. 330-31)
Measurements: 26 3/4" W x 1 5/8" D x 18 1/4" H [frame]; 22 7/8" W x 14" H [canvas]
Cleaned in the last decade or so with a few minor spots of inpainting around perimeter visible under UV. Original lining. Early but likely not original frame; light wear to silver gilt as expected.