Atina in Frosinone Italy

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.

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

image courtesy of the Museo Académie Vitti

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 Colarossi Family

The most well known family of artists models in London were the Collarossi’s. Angelo Colarossi came from the village of Picinisco in the Val di Comino.

Gaetano Valvona

Italian Heart

Photos have been accredited to the photographer / owner.  Images marked * are in the Public Domain.

Photos marked with  are believed to be in the Public Domain due of their age.

All other photos I have taken myself –  © Louise Shapcott