Victor Jean Nicolle

Victor Jean Nicolle
Figures by an Antique Sarcophagus in the Courtyard of a Chapel
Watercolor with pen and black and brown ink on paper.
7 1/4 x 5 3/16 inches (185 x 131 mm)
The Joseph F. McCrindle Collection.

Victor Jean Nicolle's relatively small corpus includes many drawings with views of Italy and Rome. He spent two extended periods of time in Italy, from 1787 to 1798 and again from 1806-1811. This drawing was certainly made during one of his Italian periods, as suggested by the dress of the figures and the architecture of the building replete with ornate Corinthian capitals. The attribution is certain, as the artist signed the composition in pen and black ink on the right of the building's façade. Nicolle's more polished drawings in watercolor, such as this sheet, were often elaborations of sketches that he made from life. This drawing is related to a second watercolor featuring a woman and child in a chapel of a church, which was sold at Christie's, South Kensington, 17 December 1998, lot 207; both drawings feature paintings hanging on the chapel's wall, as well as potted plants, and images of the Virgin and Christ. An album containing 240 drawings of Italian scenes was mentioned by Frits Lugt in his Les Marques de collections, supplément, The Hague, 1956, no. 1430a. The album was eventually dismantled, and the drawings were dispersed.


Signed at lower right in pen and black ink, "VJ Nicolle".

Joseph F. McCrindle, New York (McCrindle collection no. A0723).
Associated names: 

McCrindle, Joseph F., former owner.

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