Richard Ciccimarra was born in 1924 in Vienna, Austria. He was largely a self-taught artist, but the early influence of Moritz Daffinger, the Austrian botanical watercolourist, is discernible in some of his work, particularly the “finger exercises” or realistic depictions of flowers and dry fly fishing lures that he made. The artist also acknowledged the influence of the Swiss artist, Julius Bissier.
Ciccimarra immigrated to Canada in the early 1950’s and made Victoria his home. The handsome and sophisticated artist soon established himself in the fledgling art scene. A number of local and expatriate artists banded together in a group called the “Limners” which remained a force for more than 20 years. Besides being known for his fine artistic abilities, he was internationally respected as a master fly fisherman and guide.
His art evolved over the years, revealing a melancholy and pessimism that belied his outwardly sociable nature. He committed suicide on a trip to Greece.
His art is highly prized by collectors knowledgeable about him. In particular his large, tissue collages on wood panels covered in beeswax are distinctive, haunting forays of a compelling nature. His very best and major works are in the collection of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Ciccimarra committed suicide on a trip to Greece in 1973.