The Philadelphia Water Works by Nicolino Calyo (1799-1884)

Nicolino Calyo (1799-1884)

Publication Date: 1836
Used Condition: Very Good No Binding
From Arader Galleries of Philadelphia, PA (Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)

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NICOLINO CALYO (1799-1884) The Philadelphia Water Works Gouache on paper, 44 1/4x59 1/2 in. Inscribed (on the back, twice), Fairmont Executed 1835-36 EXHIBITED: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania (n.d.); Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Fairmount Waterworks 1988, p. 29 illus. in color; p. 44 checklist EX COLL.: [Harry Stone, New York]; [Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York, by 1984]; to corporate collection, until the present Nicolino Calyo's career reflects a restless spirit of enterprise and adventure. Descended in the line of the Viscontes di Calyo of Calabria, the artist was the son of a Neapolitan army officer. (See the brief biographical sketch by Kathleen Foster, prefacing catalogue entry no. 257 in Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia: Three Centuries of American Art, exhib. cat., [1976], pp. 299-301.) Calyo received formal training in art at the Naples Academy. His career took shape amidst the backdrop of the political turbulence of early nineteenth century Italy, Spain, and France. He fled Naples after choosing the losing side of struggles of 1820-21, and, by 1829 was part of an Italian exile community in Malta. This was the keynote of a peripatetic life that saw the artist travel through Europe, to America, to Europe again, and back to America. Paradoxically, Calyo's stock-in-trade was close observation of people and places, meticulously rendered in the precise topographical tradition of his fellow countrymen, Antonio Canale (called Canaletto) and Francesco Guardi. In search of artistic opportunity and in pursuit of a living, Calyo left Malta, and, by 1834, was on the opposite side of the great Atlantic Ocean, in Baltimore, Maryland. He advertised his skills in the April 16, 1835, edition of the Baltimore American, offering "remarkable views executed from drawings taken on the spot by himself, . in which no pains or any resource of his art has been neglected, to render them accurate in every particular" (as quoted in The Art Gallery and The Gallery of the School of Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, 350 Years of Art & Architecture in Maryland [1984], p. 35). Favoring gouache on paper as his medium, Calyo rendered faithful visual images of familiar locales executed with a degree of skill and polish that was second nature for European academically-trained artists. Indeed, it was the search for this graceful fluency that made American artists eager to travel to Europe and that led American patrons to seek out the works of ambitious newcomers. On June 16, 1835, the Baltimore Republican reported that Calyo was on his way north to Philadelphia and New York to paint views of those cities. Calyo arrived in New York just in time to witness the great fire of December 1835, which destroyed much of the downtown business district. He sketched the fire as it burned, producing a series of gouache images that combined his sophisticated European painting style with the truth and urgency of on-the-spot observation. Two of his images were given broad currency when they were reproduced in aquatint by William James Bennett. The New-York Historical Society owns two large Calyo gouaches of the fire. From 1838 until 1855, Calyo listed himself in New York City directories, as a painter, as a portrait painter, as an art instructor, and in partnership with his sons, John (1818-1893) and later, the considerably younger Hannibal (1835-1883). Between 1847 and 1852 Calyo exhibited scenes from the Mexican War and a panorama of the Connecticut River in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and New Orleans. He spent some time in Spain as court painter to Queen Maria Cristina, the result of his continuing European connections, but by 1874 was back in America, where he remained until his death. Between 1819 and 1822 the city of Philadelphia dammed the Schuylkill River to build the Fairmount Water Works, intended to insure a clean water supply to the growing town. In 1844, the municipality began to. Bookseller Inventory # 002345

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Philadelphia Water Works by Nicolino ...

Publication Date: 1836

Binding: N/A

Book Condition:Very Good

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Arader Galleries has specialized in the field of color plate books and early works on paper for over thirty years. The size and quality of our inventory is second to no other dealer. We are committed to building the finest art and book collections for our clients. We welcome the opportunity to work with you. Lori Cohen, Gallery Director, has worked in the international fine art market for 22 years. She advises museums and libraries on acquisitions as well as distinguished private and corporate collections throughout the United States and Europe.

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W. Graham Arader, III
Rare Maps, Books, and Prints
1308 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Authorized Representative: Lori Cohen

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