Painting "Il Dolce Farniente" by Franz Xaver Walterhalter 1836

Artists Models From The Val di Comino and Ciociaria

Due to extreme poverty many of the people from Ciociaria were forced to emigrated to seek new lives in faraway lands.  Some from the Val di Comino found work acting as models for famous artists sculptors and photographers in the European cities of Rome, Paris and London. Indeed during the 19th century and the early 1900’s there were many “romantic” paintings were produced depicting the typical colourful costumes and lifestyle of the country-folk of this region of Ciociaria. The models from the Val di Comino were particularly admired for their grace and beauty and were much sought after by many well known artists and sculptors of that period. Below are some examples of Ciociaria depicted in art.

Painting The Italian Tavern by Fyodor Bronnikov
Painting of a Peasant Family of Ciociaria by Celestin Joseph Blanc
Painting of a Hostelry in Ciociaria by Rudolf Jordan 1878
Painting of A Roman Hostelry by Carl Bloch
Painting of Mother and Child From Ciociaria by William Adophe Bouguereau 1871
Ciociara Mother and Child by Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Painting of a Hostelry in Ciociaria by Rudolf Jordan 1878
Painting by
Painting of Mother and Child From Ciociaria by William Adophe Bouguereau 1871
Italian Girl of Ciociaria Painting by Léon Bonnat

Almerinda Caira of Atina

Almerinda Caira, who was born in Atina in 1889, became an artists’ model during the 1900’s. She married François-Maurice Roganeau, a painter and director of the Académie di Belle Arti di Bordeaux.

Almerinda Caira Artists Model from Atina in the Val di Comino

In London such models were in great demand by prestigious artists such as John William Waterhouse, Lord Frederick Leighton, John Everett Millais and John Singer Sergeant. The most well known family of models were the Collarossi’s. Angelo came from the village of Picinisco in the Val di Comino.

The Colarossi Family

In London such models were used by prestigious artists such as John William Waterhouse, Lord Frederick Leighton, John Everett Millais and John Singer Sergeant. The most well known family of artists’ models in London was named Colarossi. The father, Angelo, originated from the village of Picinisco in the Val di Comino.

Orazio Cervi was another such model, noted for his physique and good looks. He is known to have posed for John Everett Millais and  Sir Hamo Lord Leighton Thornycroft.

Italian Heart

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Last Updated July 2018