Home » Blog » A year in the Tarn » Nizou IV, yacht, off Taormina in Sicily, Vesuvius in the background.

Nizou IV, yacht, off Taormina in Sicily, Vesuvius in the background.

As mentioned in “further reading” about Trun,“Liberty ship, North Atlantic Winter”, I met Claude and Silvie Picault while painting in the south of France.    Nizou_IV_off_Mount_Etna_wp.JPG
By chance I’d taken the liberty… of choosing their chateau, a fortified Roman style villa farm restored including the watch tower, as a subject.
They noticed and kindly invited me to lunch in the chateau.
I still have the painting (not shown on the web site).

Claude Picault, an ex merchant mariner, decided to commission 2 marine paintings from me.
One of “his” Liberty ship “Trun” in the North Atlantic in winter; the other being his yacht “Nizou IV” on a sunny summer’s day off Sicily, their home town and Vesuvius in the background”.
The family to be shown aboard and individually recognisable on Nizou IVNizou_IV_off_Mount_Etna_detail_1.JPG

Nizou IV Claude said was Greek designed and built.
Claude said, (as you can see from the painting) Nizou IV resembles slightly and was in a Greek way based on the very successful and popular Colin Archer designed double ender style yachts.
Colin Archer developed this design after studying and admiring the tough the Nowegian pilot boats.

Wanting to ge a feel for the family attitude to their yacht, as part of preparing to paint Nizou IV, I asked Sylvie what she though of Nizou IV?
Silvie said she was “a beautiful boat and at her best sitting in the middle of a field 60 kilometers inland”.
Silvie was not a keen sailor?
Gordon Frickers and Claude and Silvie Picault became friends as some times you do.
Clients becoming friends is one of the best things in the often difficult life of a marine painter.
Claude and Silvie Picault even invite my family to their 80 bedroom hotel in Sicily, The Belvedere, 79 Via Bagnoli Croci, Taormina
in Sicily.

No said Silvie, Claude dear, it is 90 bedrooms, you have forgotten to include the new extension…

Alas we were unable to go, lack of money for the flight.
How many chances are lost, paintings remain unpainted, even marriages spoilt, lost because of a lack of funding?

I have subsequently heard this painting was stolen from the hotel, a back handed compliment to the artist?
Trun was also stolen.
Now Claude, I am sorry to hear, a lovely man has passed on and I have lost touch with Silvie.
Other wise I’d have at least offered them prints of their paintings which rightfully belong with their family’s most personal possessions.
If you are in touch with Silvie Picault or see either this original of Nizou IV or “Trun“, please let me know?

The puzzle here is where are the paintings, some one knows…?
I value highly and try to look after my friends…