Neil Collins

The Flying Mantuan | 1938 Swiss Grand Prix | Tazio Nuvolari | Artwork


Tazio Nuvolari (The Flying Mantuan), raced in a period when drivers required the combined skills of a point-to-point jockey, mechanic, kamikaze pilot and all-in wrestler, and when, if a fellow did win, he actually drank the champagne, rather than generally spraying it about the place.

Nuvolari had at least nine lives. At the age of 11, his first high speed mishap on a motorcycle ended in a ditch. In 1912 he bought the tangled wreckage of an aeroplane that had crashed on the plain nearby, and put it back together again. Unable to achieve lift-off from the ground, he launched it off the roof of the house. The machine hit a haystack and burst into flames - Nuvolari emerging only slightly singed.

While serving as an ambulance driver in the First War, he was detailed to take a visiting general back to HQ. The officer disembarked with his hair standing on end, mumbling to the impassive Mantuan: 'You ought to be a stretcher-bearer, driving really isn't the job for you..

In 1938 he was one of the few top drivers who could handle the awesome Auto Unions. Here he is at the Swiss Grand Prix. A tiny little man who was in fact a giant.

Overall size (cm): 63.4 x 46.0 approx.

This is a unique original artwork
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More About This Item
Type: Painting
Medium: Original Art - Watercolours
Style: Figurative, Illustrative, Realistic
Framed: Yes
Signed: Yes
Colour: Grey, Green
Year of Subject: 1938
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Neil Collins

Neil Collins watercolour artist works from old photographs and likes to research period colours to ensure that details are correct. Neil’s first national exhibition was at the RAC Art of Motoring in 2016 where his water colours found a ready market. Since then he has developed both his style and his client base. The clean lines of Neil’s pictures reflect a lifetime in design disciplines. The translucent and free flowing qualities of water colour give an immediacy to Neil’s work.

“I get an enormous amount of pleasure from researching and planning my paintings. Old photographs are fascinating, and I love to translate old black-and-white photographs into colour with my artwork. Every photograph has a narrative – sometimes obvious, sometimes hidden. I like to have this in my paintings". 

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