Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1866-1925 - Downhire Hill (Hampstead)

Painter, mosaicist, and artist model Gaetano Meo was born in 1850 in Laurenzana, Basilicata, the son of a shepherd. He had walked from Basilicata, playing his harp as he went, stopping in London in 1866 to earn the fare for a journey across the Atlantic. It worked out differently. His career is associated with that of the Pre-Raphaelites. Meo modelled for Simeon Solomon, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, and other artists. He then went on to paint landscapes himself, and exhibited at the Royal Academy. He is remembered for his mosaics. Meo created mosaics in the dome of Debenham House to a design by architect Halsey Ricardo. He led a team of mosaicists in the installation of designs by Scottish architect Robert Weir Schultz at St Andrew’s chapel in Westminster Cathedral. His home at no. 47 Downhire Hill, Hampstead, became a meeting place for writers and artists. He died in 1925.

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