Guido Nicola, (1921-2015) began working as restorer with his wife Maria Rosa in the post-war period.
Thanks to his father-in-law Giovanni Borri, a Genoese painter, restorer and antique dealer, who introduced him to the world of restoration, he first attended the studio of the restorer Giulio Niccoli, then that of Prof. Angelo Abossetti. He bought for few coins at a big flea market in Turin, fragments of paintings to be used for his experiments. He collaborates for several years with Prof. Ettore Patrito, a chemist and appreciated restorer of paintings, from which he learns innovative techniques and absorbs his mental approach, rare in those years, also aimed at the study of the artwork, the respect for the original and the scientific intervention.
He develops an incredible manual skill that allows him to make his way and to receive, already at the end of the '50s, positions of trust by the local Government Department for Cultural Heritage. In 1966, he was in Florence to work as a volunteer to save the flooded works. He specialises in the conservative restoration of paintings on canvas and on panels and on the delicate intervention of detachment of the fresco.
Thousands of ancient and modern works pass through his finger: from Caravaggio, Guercino, Guido Reni, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Rembrandt, Rubens, up to Picasso, Max Ernst, Leger, De Chirico, Fontana and many others. He establishes a relationship of esteem and mutual friendship with the young artists who in those years frequent his studio in Turin, from Casorati to De Chirico to Mario Merz.
His great enthusiasm, love for his work, his tenacious willpower, infects his family and collaborators over the years. His laboratory grows thanks to contacts with other restoration centres and the contribution of chemists, physicists and scholars. Until his passing, the laboratory was his home and his reason for living.
He died peacefully at 93, January 6, 2015, surrounded by the affection of his entire family.
The Cultural Association Guido Nicola for the restoration was created in his memory.
Beyond the restoration
Guido has never denied his peasant roots, indeed! Always busy, great worker, he devoted all his free time to the countryside, cultivating his wonderful garden, with dedication and joy. Another great passion: the truffles which he loved to look for with his dogs in truffle ground created by him in collaboration with IPLA (Istituto Piante da Legno). In the land around the laboratory, Guido has planted 12,000 mycorrhized plants over the years.