Carlo Nicoli was born in Carrara on October 4th, 1843. He
enrolled in the "Accademia" (school of fine arts) and distinguished
himself by gaining several awards up from 1860. 1864 he ended his studies
and for his statue "Morte di Pompeo" (death of Pompeius) was awarded the
gold medal of "Concorso d'Invenzione" (competition of inventions). the
Ferdinando Pelliccia-headed board of examiners largly praised his piece.
Nicoli moved then to Firenze under Giovanni Duprè's management.
1868, his first assay: the small piece "the
beggar" gained the gold medal during the Art Exhibition in Florence.
1880, it was then made in marble. 1870, his second assay: "L'angelo
sorvegliatore" - "the
watchful angel" or "che difende l'Innocenza" - "protecting Innocence".
At the beginning, it was heavily criticized but after some years, it
received a lot of praise, even from the Spanish King Alfonso, and Nicoli
was awarded the knight's cross of the Order of Carlo III. The piece was
carved several more times and eventually the Spanish Education Board in
Madrid bought it. Third assay: "Sorpresa d'Amore" - "surprise of love". In
1871, it received a lot praise.
Nicoli moved back to Carrara and in 1875 he was honorary
professor at the Accademia. 1876, the big workshop in San Francesco was
ready, with modern sculpture - and architecture sectors. Still in 1876, in
this workshop, they carved the statue "Cervantes"
for Alcalà de Henares - Cervantes' birthplace. 1878, they carved the
statue "the sitting Cervantes". 1885, after Demetrio Carusi's death,
Nicoli took over as a permanent sculpture teacher.
Nicoli's pieces in the 80's.
||the statue of Cardinal
Francisco Jimenez de Cinsero. It won the Fabbricotti prize and was
then installed in the meeting room of the Senate-House, Madrid
||Lord Beaconfield's portraits, Gladstone; Dickens' and
Garfield's portraits in Melbourne
||the imposing statue of Queen Elisabeth of England,
Brighton, Durban and Melbourne
||monument in memory of the expulsion of the
Portugueses, 25 m high. bas-reliefs, statues and trophies in Bahia,
monument, Piazza del Teatro, Carrara
The following pieces are worth mentioning, yet not dated:
||18 imposing statues for the
Galleria Umberto I, Naples;
||monument for T. Stepton - Durban;
||monument for General Empecinado - Mexico;
||monument for Fraybentos - Argentina;
||monument for the poet Hidalgo - Mexico;
||Our Lady with the Rosary - library in the Vatican
||bust of Francesco Guerrazzi, Palermo then re-carved
for his grandson Francesco Michele (Rome?);
||the statues and the altars in "Nuestra Senora de
Guadalupa Cathedral " - Mexico
To his workshop, Nicoli represented a strong energy thanks to his
praiseworthy art and to his great technical competence. Since Nicoli's
period, the workshop - now managed by his homonymous great-grandson - has
been cooperating with great international artists (from Dupré, Ximenes,
Allar at that time
to Arturo Martini,
Moore, Messina, Viani,
César, Ipousteguy nowadays)
Carlo Nicoli was a real interesting artist, with a brave imagination
and prone to grand dimensions of a great impact. He died in 1915 in his
Belvedere house in Avenza.