CICERI, Eugène (1813-1890). Les Pyrénées Dessinées d'après Nature & Lithographiées Première (et Deuxième) Partie[s]. Luchon: Lafont, Libraire Editeur, c. 1873.
Folio (16 x 11 ½ inches), illustrated with forty-one lithographic views and two folding maps, bound in full contemporary red cloth, rebacked, with metal clasps and catches, a.e.g
Provenance: The Estate of David Spinney.
Première Partie: Luchon et ses Environs. Deuxième Partie: Hautes et Basses-Pyrénées.
Born towards the end of Napoleon's reign, Eugène Ciceri spent his formative years in an extended family of painters. His father, Pierre Luc Charles Ciceri (1782-1868), painted grand decorative murals and stage sets, and served as the designer of official ceremonies following the Restoration of Louis XVIII in 1814. Young Ciceri learned the basics of his craft from his father, and subsequently from his great-uncle Jean-Baptiste Isabey (1767-1855) who enjoyed extensive patronage under Napoleon, as well as the royalist rulers of the 1820s and 1830s. Like many young men, Ciceri seems to have traveled overseas in his 20s, perhaps as part of his military service. Two watercolors from 1837 depict unspecified Caribbean landscapes that might well be scenes from French territories such as Martinique, Haiti or St. Martin. On his return to France, he followed in his father's footsteps as a decorative painter, and undertook a large mural commission for the civic auditorium at LeMans. The grand opening of this public work took place on 13 May 1842. However, it seems to have been the last time that Ciceri accepted a mural commission on this scale. Not surprisingly, he made his Salon debut in 1851 at the exhibition now recognized for admitting the previously unwelcome Realist and Barbizon artists. By the late 1870s, Ciceri's color palette brightened and his subject matter became much more focused on relationships in nature - the sky, water, and earth. His works became vast and full of movement - a feat greatly seen in his Les Pyrénées. The painter died in 1890, leaving behind a stunning artistic legacy, with his works found in museums across the globes and private collections. For more information on this book, or a warm welcome to see other books and maps of our collection at 72nd Street NYC, please contact Natalie Zadrozna.