Eugène CICERI (Paris, 1813 - Marlotte, 1890)
The son and pupil of the illustrator and décorateur Pierre-Luc-Charles Ciceri and nephew of the painter Eugène Isabey, Eugène Ciceri began his career as a designer of mural paintings, as well as theatre and stage sets. He was mainly active as a landscape painter, however, and in this field was influenced by the work of his uncle and teacher, Eugène Isabey. (Isabey and Ciceri shared a Parisian studio for some time, and both were much influenced by fellow artists working nearby, including Narcisse Diaz, Jules Dupré, Théodore Rousseau and Jean-François Millet.) Ciceri exhibited paintings, gouaches and watercolour views - usually of the forest of Fontainebleau and the banks of the Seine and Marne rivers - at the Salons from 1851 onwards, and also showing lithographs in the 1870’s and 1880’s. Often drawn on a very small scale, his watercolours also included views from his extensive travels in Switzerland, Germany, England, Italy and North Africa. Along with Théodore Géricault and Richard Parkes Bonington, Ciceri provided illustrations for several volumes of Baron Taylor’s monumental series of Voyages pittoresques et romantiques dans l’ancienne France, published between 1820 and 1875, and in particular for the volume devoted to Brittany, which appeared in 1845. He also contributed illustrations to Alexandre Bida’s Souvenirs d’Egypte, published in 1851, and worked as a lithographer, winning a bronze medal in this medium at the Salon of 1876. Among the works for which he provided lithographs were Alfred De Dreux’s Les Amazones, published in 1845, and Motifs équestres, which appeared in 1853. In 1882, Ciceri published his Cours d’aquarelle; a practical guide for amateur watercolourists. He died in 1849 at Marlotte, a village on the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau, where he had lived since 1849. At the posthumous sale of the contents of the artist’s studio, held in Paris in 1891, works by Johan-Barthold Jongkind, Eugène Isabey and Félix Ziem were sold alongside a large number of paintings and drawings by Ciceri himself.