Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1867- 1919 - Bond Street (Mayfair)

Artists’ model Alessandro di Marco moved to London from Piedmont in 1867 and found work as an organ grinder. His androgynous features made him an attractive model as he posed for both male and female figures. He was Burne-Jones’s favourite model and he stood for Merlin in The Beguiling of Merlin (1872/7). He also sat for Walter Crane whose wife forbid her husband to use female models. Di Marco was favoured by Pre-Raphaelite artists exhibiting at Coutts Lindsay’s Grosvenor Gallery, Bond Street, as he was in the words of George Richmond the living embodiment of a classical sculpture’. Evelyn De Morgan engaged Di Marco in the 1890s for such paintings as Boreas and Oreithyia (1896) and The Gilded Cage (1919) by which time Alessandro was reaching the end of his career as a model. After that he disappears from the records.

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