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The Italian Model (The Enchanted Garden)
I'm separating this item out from the discussion of paintings by Esther Shelton. Cathy's find in the Art Journal Vol 66
of an excellent study by Miss Shelton ended a search I had given up on: When I first came here to this board, i was looking for a male Italian model that Nino used, who I had an exact picture of in my head - the model for the Magician in The Enchanted Garden. I couldn't find exactly the face I was looking for - a very handsome Italian man with a thick bush of curly black hair, curlier, a bit longer and thicker than the hair of the young man in several of Nino's paintings in the 90's and 10's.
Cathy found him by accident, looking for Miss Shelton.
This is exactly the man
I've been looking for all along. Now: if any of you run across him in any other painting source, or, I hope, can supply a name, I would appreciate the help. I keep wanting to call him Giordano but I'm concerned that this name is coming up because of his resemblance to someone else. I don't want to push for it.
I'll continue to try to figure out Miss Shelton in the meantime...thanks!
I'm bringing this back up again in case it was missed. It's in regards to the model for The Enchanted Garden. Cathy had a theory it was the black haired young woman who appears in so many of Nino's paintings in the 1900's, Aline Henderson. Yes, some aspects could have come from her, since he blended aspects of models together for his figures, but Esther Shelton painted a study of the actual model. In fact, when you look at the study next to the painting, it seems possible Nino used her study to develop his last painting. Take a look at the link "the man" in the last post...
Are you saying that you believe the man in the photo you've linked to was a model used for The Enchanted Garden? I personally don't see a great similarity, but maybe I can't get past the moustache :) Ansaldo does have a feminine quality about him so I'd maybe go along with Cathy's idea of Aline Henderson. But I'm afraid I can't say I've seen him as a source for anything I can think of...
Take the mustache off. The pose of the magician is the same as Shelton's painting, as if he used her painting as a model. The neck, the eyes, the coloring. The jawline. Not the nose. But then, Nino combined aspects from different models. Cathy gave a good case for Aline being in many of the paintings, and I back her up on them, but not this one. I knew there was a specific man Nino knew behind this painting.
The model in The Enchanted Garden wasn't among those I compared to Nino's idealized study of Aline Henderson. I have always thought (and have written) that Gwendoline Gunn may have been the inspiration for that figure (the women wearing pink) ... of course, being part of Nino's idealized vision.
The theory about the person in Esther Shelton's study looking like the man wearing the red hat is very interesting, though. Thanks for suggesting that, Sandra (Ness).
Thank you, Cathy, and sorry - I remember that now, about you thinking it might be Gwendoline. So many studies and aspects of models ended up making his images, I do feel Gwendoline was present in the images of the girls in that painting, but this male model has been such a clear consistent image for me, since 2003, I felt someday he had to show up.
I believe he and Gwendoline both are somewhat represented inTristram and Isolde (1916)
Horribly late reply, Ness, I know, but here we go. I'm not trying to be contentious for the hell of it, but even with the moustache removed, I don't see that they look that much alike. There are similarities (the pose for one), but overall I wouldn't associate the two. But maybe it's just me :)
You probably are going through context blindness. Many people can't see resemblances unless it's exactly in the context they expect it to be in. There are people who knew me for years as a performer in costume who can't recognize me on the street.
Has anyone else ever found anything more about Esther Mary Shelton? I'm downloading the 1904 Art Journal Shelton's sketch appeared in, to read. I'm wondering if it will help make sense to concentrate on the last outstanding clue I have, if I focus on the art news and events of 1904. It's the only clue I've had with a specific date: "Rachel wore lavender in 1904." Finding the match to the face I was looking for has allowed me to get closer to finishing The Magic Circle play, which has been long delayed, but making sense of the oddest clue would help me lay all of my search aside.
Esther Mary Shelton was friendly with Waterhouse's half-sister and her family. I've done some research into Waterhouse's family, and will write up an article about my findings sometime soon I hope.
Thank you. I look forward to the article.
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