Executed actually by a listed California painter who apparently traveled extensively, JOHN W. NICOLL (1865-1943), this work, 9" by 13" as framed, is a painting of marine scenery of the isolated island archipelago of Bermuda in the sub-tropical Atlantic Ocean. It is signed at lower right by the artist and titled "Bermuda", and on the frame in old handwriting is written "Coral Rocks Bermuda". Nicoll was born in Newburgh, New York on the Hudson River, and went to Europe to study at the Academie Julian under William Bouguereau. After more study in Italy and Spain, he arrived in Pasadena, California in 1899. At that early date he was already painting in the impressionist style---one of the first Calfornia painters to do so, according to a description of one of his works in the collection of the Pasadena Museum of History. In the first two decades of the new century, Nicoll exhibited widely at fine galleries, including the well-known Stendhal Gallery of Los Angeles, as well as at major fairs and exhibitions such as the Alaska-Yukon of 1909 and the Lewis and Clark of 1905 in Portland, Oregon. There do not appear to be a lot of known works by Nicoll, but those that have appeared usually feature coasts, beaches, or waves. I have not seen other Bermuda works by this artist. Bermuda-related art is very much sought after by dealers and collectors. This work shows deft handling, and the bright reflected light typical of the island chain, even on a cloudy or partly cloudy day, seems to have been captured beautifully in the delicate colors chosen by the artist. The work is in generally good condition with perhaps a small bit of paper oxidation (browning). This would make a fine addition to any collection of Bermuda art. See a number of other Bermuda watercolors in my shop and HUNDREDS OF OTHER WORKS OF ART.
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