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3.           CAMMILLIERI, NICOLAS  1858      

A thunderstorm surprises the brig "Thomas Hughes"

Watercolor on paper, cm 47,5x60    (inventory Costa n. 27)

Signed: Nicolas Cammillieri 1858 
 

Known data:

   TYPE:             pole brig
   CAPTAIN:     Francesco De Gregori

Caption:

 "Sardinian Bark Thomas Hughes, Capt. Francisco Degregori:. being on the 9th june 1857 in the Lat. 40 50' N.E., Long. 48 23' W. Meridien of Greewich was surprised from a thunderstorm accompanied by a hurricane; and for the grace of the Blessed Virgin of Boschetto they were delibered to safe".

Notes:

Gio Bono Ferrari (The Heroic age of the Sail, Rapallo 1941, p. 710) tried of giving a technical explanation of the chromatic particularity, and therefore of the atmosphere of the works of Nicholas: "The artist, making use of watered china ink, completely designed the picture of the ship as in storm that in calm waters with a single black color. And then, very dried, it illuminated it with terra di siena obtaining this beautifulst effects". 

Such indication can describe in a pertinent way this painting of the "Thomas Hughes" where, thanks to the tonality nearly monochromatic of the scene, this become particularly dramatic and the force of remembrance of the moment exceeds the interest for the definition of the boat. 

Just the yield of this last differentiates this work to other Nicolas works which some are conserved in the Museum Naval of Pegli; that suggest the hypothesis (thanks to Pierangelo Campodonico) that their later features my pertains to a homonymous. In so far as the comparison with the "Chebeck "Vierge du Carme" of the 1810 is "the first" Nicolas (Pegli, Naval Museum). 

Low in the right side of the painting is readable the filigree of the paper mill "J. WHATMAN", because of the extreme transparency of the airframes with which the color is given. 

On the boat represented here there is another painting, always of the Cammillieri, in a camogliese private collection (cm 32x44): commander and shipownerwas the Capt. Gio Batta Ferrari, called " U Caritin ", second officer and twenty years young brother of the shipowner, Capt. Gio Bono Ferrari said "Gianu" (the Yellow)

The ship was returning from the Greek archipelago, coming from Manfredonia with a wool cargo and had to call in a port of the Sicily in order to load cases with manna to carry to Marseilles: unfortunately for the boat the travel was concluded on the cliffs of Policastro.