Niccolo D'Ardia Caracciola RHA (1941-1989)
A highly talented landscape artist and portrait painter, born in Dublin and grew up in a County Waterford medieval castle – the sea of his mother’s family, the Fitzgeralds. The Italian title derived from his father’s family in Naples.
After being educated at the Oratory School in Reading, England, Niccolo went to study fine art painting in Florence at the suggestion of Pietro Annigoni who believed the teenager had talent which ought to be developed. In Florence, Niccolo studied under the artist Signorina Nera Simi, whose emphasis on drawing, especially figure drawing, an be clearly seen in her pupil’s artwork.
After his art studies, Niccolo D’Ardia Caracciola divided his time between Ireland and Italy. In 1964, Caracciola was one of the painters selected to replicate the paintings in the Sistine Chapel for the Renaissance film “The Agony and the Ectasy” which portrayed the life of Michelangelo. As well as this High Renaissance painting, Caracciola continued with his Irish landscape painting and city scenes, and developed his skills in figure painting. He also became a noted portrait artist, executing a variety of portrait commissions and also several self portraits.
He exhibited at the Hugh Lane Gallery and Solomon Gallery in Dublin, as well as the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA). His paintings also showed in the Royal Portrait Society and the Royal Academy in London.
Tragically, he died in a car crash in Italy in 1989 and was buried in Ireland.
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