Although Nicola Simbari was born in Calabria (in San Lucido), Simbari was brought up in Rome by a father who was an architect for the Vatican. Simbari began his training in the arts at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma and devoted himself entirely to painting at Via del Babuino - he had a studio at this location in Central Rome. One can notice the impact that an early exposure to architecture had on Simbari’s art by the architectural structures and geometric shapes that were incorporated into the majority of his paintings.
His distinct style began to develop at an early age. A style that developed from impressions he took from nature, life, and the Mediterranean - these very same impressions reflect themselves abstractly via both the passion and the sheer vividness brought on by the colors used.
At 13, Simbari decided to study art and was enrolled at the Academia delle Belle Arti. Then at the age of 22, he had the grand opportunity of opening his first studio in Rome. Early scenes of his work include images from his childhood such as cafes, fishing villages, gypsies, and the Italian countryside.
His success in the art world was almost immediate and shortly after a one-man show he held in London, he received an offer to paint murals for the Italian Pavilion during the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels. He somehow managed to make it so that his show Le Cirque was able to reflect the same excitement on canvas as felt at an actual circus.
One can find works by Simbari in a wide variety of museums and private and corporate collections worldwide. For example, many of his works can be found in collections including the Christian Dior Collection in Paris, The Bank of Tokyo, Liberty Company in London, Tulsa Bank of Commerce, and the Italian State Railways in Rome.
Sadly, Nicola Simbari died on December 11, 2012.
What influenced Simbari’s work?
Nicola Simbari was born in Italy; this area provided the Mediterranean inspiration found in his works. Features such as the hue of the blues used in both the sky and ocean, as well as the brightness of the sky can be attributed to his memory of his home. Simbari also felt inspired by contemporary European life and thus incorporated that into his paintings. Aside from that he also enjoyed painting scenes of the southwest. On one occasion he stated, “There’s terrific drama in the desert. It’s mysterious and magical, and the most dramatic natural sculpture I’ve ever seen.”