Gustavo Simoni

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Biography of Gustavo Simoni ( 1846-1926 )

Born in Rome in 1846, Gustavo Simoni studied at the Academy of Santa Luca in 1861 with the artists Dario Querci and Francesco Podesti. In 1875, he was one of the first members of the Society of Watercolorists of Rome, founded by Ettore Roesler Franz and Nazzareno Cipriani.

From 1877, Simoni travelled in Europe, particularly in France and Spain. He also went to North Africa, where he visited Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. He settled for a few years in the ancient city of Tlemcen, Algeria, in a house where he regularly welcomed friends from Rome.

Gustavo Simoni won the gold medal at the Paris Salon of 1889 with his monumental painting "The Fire of Persepolis", then was rewarded in 1895 at the Exhibition of Fine Arts in Rome. King Umberto Ist was one of the prestigious clients of the painter.

At the end of the 19th century, he opened a studio in Paris and was commissionned for many orientalist artworks : watercolors and large oil paintings. Back in Rome, he founded his own Orientalist painting school.

Gustavo Simoni's favorite oriental themes included caravans, street scenes, carpet dealers, musicians and souks. The painter represented the atmosphere of the streets, the precise movements of the characters with clear and delicate colors. Although, the painter worked for a long time in Algeria, his paintings combined real details and reinvented spaces. One of Simoni's most famous paintings is "The Caravan rests at Kabylie" (1885).

Also interested in historical themes, he created imaginary scenes from ancient Rome or from the seventeenth century.

The works of Gustavo Simoni are preserved in many museums of modern art, including Rome, Vicenza, Glasgow, London and New-York.

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