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Emmanuel Costa in Nice... selected works

Emmanuel Costa (1833-1921) was certainly the most famous 19th century landscape painter in Nice. His watercolors were highly coveted in the local market and adorned the interiors of prime venues such as Villa Masséna. Its owner, the Prince of Essling, owned a dozen of his masterpieces.

Let's discover this outstanding artist, with abundant activity, by browsing the rooms of the exhibition dedicated to him at the Massena museum until September 17, 2023.

Emmanuel Costa. Nice vue du col de Villefranche. Collection particulière
Emmanuel Costa. Nice vue du col de Villefranche. Collection particulière

Emmanuel Costa's incomparable style instantly transports us to a world that combines realism with a touch of nostalgia, poetry and grandeur. It is this unique blend imbued with a bewitching blue hue, which has captivated its audience since the 19th century.

Emmanuel Costa. Le palais Doria à Dolceacqua. Collection particulière
Emmanuel Costa. Le palais Doria à Dolceacqua. Collection particulière

Emmanuel Costa's fame extends well beyond the borders of Nice. This reputation was linked not only to his watercolors but also to a workshop he ran alongside his three sons. Together, they have adorned villas, hotels, casinos and theaters with their stunning interior decorations, like the ceiling of the Opéra de Nice.

Edgar Degas. Evariste de Valernes. 1868.© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) / René-Gabriel Ojéda
Emmanuel Costa. Plafond de l'opéra de Nice. Détail.

The opera was rebuilt in 1884-1885 on the site of the old theater which

had burned down in 1881. To realize the imposed subject of the birth of the day in Olympus on the 350 square meters of the ceiling, the Costa workshop had only one term.

Reconstitution muséale d'une chapelle décorée par Emmanuel Costa. Nice Palais Massena.
Reconstitution muséale d'une chapelle décorée par Emmanuel Costa. Nice Palais Massena.

Emmanuel Costa was an artist of remarkable versatility. He also helped revitalize sacred art during the profound transformations caused by the annexation of Nice to France in 1860 in the rise of modernity. His legacy continues to inspire and fascinate art lovers around the world.


Emmanuel Costa peignant sur le motif, Vers 1910.
Emmanuel Costa peignant sur le motif, Vers 1910.

Palais Masséna

65 rue de France

06000 Nice

In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...




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