Around the year 1880, the Bertier family moved from Chambery in the Haute Savoy to Grugliasco a small town near Turin where the young Celestina, just eighteen years old, met and married Carlo Arduino.
On August 6th, 1887 the second of their six children was born: Nicola Arduino.
As a young boy he went with his grandfather and his father to work as a house painter. The family house-painting business, which was without work during the winter months, didn’t provide for much prosperity for the large family nonetheless in the small Grugliasco they were referred to as ‘famija real’ (royal family) expressing the extent to which Celestina always managed to send them out well-dressed and keep the small house in the old center of town near the church tidy and clean. They were a very close and lighthearted family regardless of the financial difficulties, which loved music (sometimes they went very early in the morning to the Regio Theater to get a place in the gallery!). His mother was a very important person in his youth thanks to the special feeling that linked them, and after her death, a strong and sweet memory that stayed with him all his life.
From that small warm nest his adventure as a man and artist started, when in 1903 at the age of 16 the irresistible call of painting brought him to take the daring decision of enrolling at the Albertina Academy in Turin.
Nine years of success followed, for a lucky chance always under the guidance of master Giacomo Grosso, during which he won medals, scholarships, trips abroad in the main artistic cities which confirmed to him and his family that he had made the right decision. Winning the gold medal at the end of the sixth year (as best student) gave him the opportunity of using a personal studio for another three years of specialization at the Academy, right next to that of his Master with whom he had the opportunity of developing a sincere and affectionate friendship.
His first exhibit at the Fine Arts Promoter of Turin dates back to 1911 with the painting “The Cicada”: the critics appreciated him and a collector from Genoa bought his work which enabled him to buy a first class ticket for Buenos Aires on the boat Queen Helen and follow his master Grosso who had invited him to go with him to Argentina.
During the journey he discovered the luxury of the first class to which he surely wasn’t accustomed but…he was also sea-sick. That though didn’t keep him from painting some portraits, to capture in quick sketches the lights of a spectacular sunset at the equator and sometimes to perform with his violin, an instrument he loved to play and always had with him together with his brushes.
At the beginning of the twentieth century in the rich city of Buenos Aires there were several European artists of re-known fame and mature age, so such a young and yet already so talented painter immediately captured the interest and admiration of the upper middle class. The narration of these years is precise and detailed in the long letters he daily wrote to his family with which he felt the need to share his emotions.