Naples:life,death &
                Miracle contact: Jeff Matthews

Lovely Rosina
Translation of an essay by Giuseppe Aprea, current director of the
Document Center of the Island of Capri
translation by jm done 19 July - 1 Aug 2021

part 1   below            part 2        part 3       part 4      part 5

This portrait of "Rosina" is inscribed at the bottom "to my friend Frank Hyde --Capri 1878.  John S. Sargent."


Giuseppe Aprea
Lovely Rosina

The Life and Loves of Sargent's Muse
(and of other painters on Capri)

A reading given by Giuseppe Aprea on the terrace of the Document Center of the Island of Capri, 23 Sept. 2016.

Aprea writes "the gracious Mme. Gelsomina Ogranovistch, owner of the Belvedere & Tre Re hotel at Marina Grande, has
donated this original painting of the Marina Grande by her son, the Russian painter, Michael Ogranovistch (1878-1945), to
the Document Center of Capri so it might be displayed and admired by all."

The island of Capri, Tueday, 5 August 1878, the last few hours of daylight. The last rays of the warm and golden setting sun wrapped men and women waiting patiently on the largest pier of the island. Behind them were the homes, to which the twilight added a kind of solemnity. With the sails struck, the old Scoppa boat drew closer to the shore, loaded as  ever with goods. From fore and aft two men leaped agilely ashore, gripping the stout mooring ropes they needed: Domenico and Antonio, brothers in life as well on their daily job.They crossed themselves. Once again S. Costanzo
[trans. note: patron saint of Capri]  had helped them safely back to the island of their birth.   
                                  sketch of Rosina on left is by Charles Sprague Pearce (1851-1914)

The Scoppa brothers' boats were the usual courier boats, you might say. When Garibaldi's red shirts advanced up Italy to unite them all, their father, Pietro, brought the letters written and received by Henry Wreford, journalist for the London Times, whose job it was to follow the exploits of the Thousand. He had been living on Capri for some time. He risked his life or at least his freedom, good Peter.

The Bourbon police knew Wreford well and watched him closely: he was Garibaldi's friend, a subversive. If they found Peter with compromising letters aboard the Scopa courier boat they wouldn't hesitate a second before clapping him in the Vicaria prison, down in the dark dungeon of Castel Capuano.

With Domenico or Antonio at the helm, that glorious boat crossed the gulf at least twice a week through both storms and calm seas. There were just two good places to put in. One was the small pier of the Marina Grande on Capri. The other was a true dock, a real pier —the Mandraccio, that putrid main port of Naples, itself, not far from the Egg Castle. In those days it was
heavily trafficked.
John Singer Sargent          
The Scoppa ships moved what had to be moved: goods, persons, letters, special messages, and even thoughts: there was always money to be made —or at least some gratitude— by moving whatever had to get somewhere. On that summer's evening of '78, among the baskets of fruit, sacks of grain, and poles to prop up grapes in the vineyards, was also John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). He was from an American family but born and raised in Florence 22 years earlier. He was a young painter in search of his fortune, come back to the island he had visited and admired with his parents years earlier.  
                                                                                                                                                                                           (photo ca. 1878)

They has stopped in Naples for seven days. Sargent called it a "simply superb city" in a letter to his friend, Ben Castillo — maybe too hot and too many annoying mosquitoes, but lovely enough to make his week unforgettable. He had longed to return to Capri, but now something much greater awaited him. It had been years since the Paris Salon, one of the most important art exhibits in Europe, and the chance to admire paintings of Capri with a  certain frequency —the faces of the women, the white homes sheltered from the sun by the shade of ivy, the fabled shape of the rocks, everything to enchant and inspire the thick group of French, German, and English painters who frequented the place. Many of them stayed at the Pagano Hotel.

Who knows if Sargent was aware that American painters were among the first to discover the "beauty". He certainly didn't know that one of those pioneers landed at Capri in 1839 as an aspiring painter, would then become famous not as a painter but rather as the ingenious inventor of the telegraph. His name was Samuel Morse. Much later, around the mid-1800s, other American artists of the caliber of Haseltine, Bierstadt and Gifford, had already made the Marina Piccola of Capri, the Faraglioni, and the rocky arches along the cliffs famous beyond the seas for all to marvel at.

Those and other thoughts were on Singer's mind as he disembarked at Marina Grande and made his way through the noisy throng of women and children that he found at the  pier. Some had their hands out for a coin, some offered their services, one offered to carry his luggage on her back all the way into town, a barefoot guide to show him the loveliest places on the island, a tour up to Mt. Tiberius on the back of a donkey. Maybe it was that colorful racket that made John decide not to do anything but just just stay here at at the port for a while.

It was a  chance meeting that set the stage in the days to come, for he met English painter, Frank Hyde (image, above, right) (1849-1937), who had been on the island for some time. That meeting changed their lives. (Both of the paintings here are by Frank Hyde.)

On the left, "Steps at Capri",  shows Rosina. The one on the right is entitled "Portrait of Rosina Ferrara". Date for both, ca. 1880, about the time that Hyde and Sargent met. Hyde had recently bought the entire and very large Castle of Barbarossa (see image directly below in Part 2). He was the sole owner and occupant. It was his studio.



The Pagano Hotel opened in 1822 under the name of the owner, Giuseppe Pagano, making it the oldest hotel in Capri. Although Naples, itself, had been a tourist attraction for a long time, the "Grand Tourist" trade had not yet spread to the islands. It's not that there was nothing to see, but well-heeled northern tourists had no place to stay. The island, itself, was poor, very much a hard-scrabble place to eke out a life. The Pagano became the haven for the many foreign artists mentioned here. They all stayed here and painted here. The hotel was near the town square of Capri. The square was perfect, topped off, as is often the case, by an insignia, something to complete it. Here, it was a grand palm tree. The square and hotel were how Frank convinced his new American friend, John Sargent, to take lodging there with the family of farmers who owned it, which is where he himself lived in a delightful flat with a view of the sea.

In the mornings the two had breakfast in the shade of a grape vine. The woman of the house always told them to help themselves to the grapes. The table was set with a white table-cloth of fine linen with local delicacies spread before them. The whole scene was alive with shifting dots of light filtered through the foliage. The sweet fragrance of orange blossoms filled the air, and the inviting whiff of strong coffee, from freshly roasted beans ground by a young girl right by the garden. The magic was complete.
 both images by John Singer Sargent

On 14 September 1878 Sargent, completely enthralled by it all, signed the Hotel Pagano guest register and moved in. He had found the Capri hideaway where artists from half the world lived their boundless lives in art and for art, suspended in a timeless dimension, one of ecstatic visions of what the island offered. They led the simple lives of poor artists.

Then he met Rosina.

One fine day Hyde proposed sharing his studio with Sargent. It was set at a slightly higher location than the hotel, along the trail that led to an old castle, now in ruins
(image). Locals called it the Castiglione [grand castle]. History had already been cruel to the place. It had started out in the hands of a religious order, the monastery of the Most Sacred Saviour, built by a local nun, Serafina in the 1500. Much later, artists such as Frank Hyde set up ateliers in a few rooms, rooms filled with light and inspiration. They met there, painted, and shared their stories. Every blessed day.

It was here one morning that Frank favored his friend Sargent by presenting Rosina, one of his models. He had painted her many times and said there wasn't a better model in all of Capri. There were other models on the island, bur Rosina was the one they all wanted. This was in spite of the warning by the parish priest of Santo Stefano, don Salvatore, that modelling was evidence that our moral fiber was breaking down and clearly that Satan himself, the Devil, was among these newcomers to Capri.

The wild beauty of the young woman struck Sargent like a thunder clap on the sleeping earth.

The Arabian facial features, the amber color of her skin, crow-black hair fastened at the nape by a pin. Was she really a descendant of the corsair, Barbarossa, as many on the island said? As fast as his thoughts could move his hands, Sargent grabbed a pencil and the first wooden palette he could find among Hyde's messy art tools. He was in a frenzy as he drew, sketched, painted
once, twice, ten times. Full figure profile and never totally happy with his work.

When she left, he followed her with his eyes until she got to the path down to the Marina and vanished behind a retaining wall. Only then did Sargent turn back to Hyde.  "Marvelous. That's just the kind of woman I was looking for. Please, tell me something about her. She's so young, yet acts like a big-city model."

At that time Rosa Ferraro (called "Rosina") was 16
1/2 years old, born on 19 January 1862, the youngest daughter of Bartolomeo, a fisherman, and his wife, Maria, from Massalubrense, near Sorrento. Rosina lived with her younger sister, Carmela, and other siblings, in a house near the church of San Costanzo, above the small settlement on the sea-shore.

[translator's note, jm: This note and image come from Selene Salvi, who has "precognition"-- she answers before I ask,"Was it only foreign painters?: "In the early 1880s Neapolitan sculptor Vincenzo Gemito visited Capri. His wife and model, Mathilde Duffaud, had just died. He need peace, comfort, emptiness. In that abysmal state, he met a young girl, Rosa. Maybe it was her radiant smile that awoke his heart. He would sculpt her!... Who was this girl from Capri? Was it Rosina Ferrara, famous from paintings by American artist, John Singer Sargent? Who knows?"

    The Gallery of Modern Art in Milan seems to think so. They have this sculpture labelled
“Rosa (testina caprese)”, 1882, red wax, cm. 15x9x10. I don't know the art term for "testina". It's probably not "small head." My question: Is this the only sculpture of "Rosina" ever done?]

end of part 2
start part 3
Rosina was a seamstress like her mother. Like hundreds of other women on the island she spent hours at a loom weaving silk ribbons for the hair of fine ladies, ribbons that the Scoppa brothers took over to Naples and put in the hands of a merchant who bought them for almost nothing. It was a grim and wretched living for those women, but now with all these painters crowding Capri, there was some hope. Rosina and her dearest friends, Costanzella, Mariuccia and Carminella, asked themselves: What harm was there in posing for a few paintings?

The first painters to discover the charms of the young woman destined to be Sargent's muse were the French. She learned French from them. They were lively, a bunch of jokers. After a hard day's work, they were ready to lay aside the brushes, easel, palette and to party the night away. They even imported the Roman Carnival!
[trans. note: an ancient tradition whose origins date back to the Middle Ages. It is one of the most famous and popular events celebrated in Italy. Traditionally, Roman carnival was  a large public celebration lasting 8 days, ending the night of Fat Tuesday, the day marking the beginning of Lent.]
They gleefully took part, dressing the part, parading in the streets, often quite drunk, with carnival masks on their faces, carrying colorful puppets, and singing drinking songs. Some French painters on the island were Théobald Chartran, Armand Berton, and Charles-Edmond Daux. They were joined by French newcomers.They all knew Rosina well and had painted her.

Their brigade was headed by Jean Benner, from the Alsace, who was a kind of scout leader. He actually married Margherita who was first his model. She was Michele Pagano's daughter, the owner of the hotel. All together, these young French artists devoted themselves to their painting when the light was right, alternating between that and outbursts of merrymaking, turning the homes and gardens of Capri into a good imitation of the Latin Quarter in Paris. Put some good island wine in place of Beaujolais and dance the tarantella, which the models all knew. They didn't miss the can-can.

In the months after his arrival, Sargent was inspired as never before, first by the open air or at the large window in Frank's studio. He was taken with the architecture of the island, where the homes and people lived in harmony with each other. He was always amazed at the light in those places, which made everything jump out at him. Then there were the narrow stairways (image) that seemed to go up to heaven. And the vaulted roofs and the fantastic shapes of the chimneys. He loved to admire unspoiled nature; the limpid sea, the colors so different than those in Cancale in Brittany, where he had lived before coming to Capri, or the intense green of the olive trees, as thick as forests, and the rays of the sun weaving arabesques through the myrtle. He was also struck by the innocent forwardness of the children of the island, intent on their simple games but equally willing to pose for an artist in the heat of the mid-day sun. But Rosina was his sweet obsession.

He painted her over and over again, a great number of pencil sketches as well as palette oil paintings, either indoors in the studio next to Frank's or outdoors in the open air amid the island greenery. It was human beauty pitted in the unequal battle with the perfection of nature. He took care that the details he put in lived up to his inspiration.

"In the work done indoors in the studio, Rosina, with her playful hair and golden earrings, has on a white blouse with wide sleeves and a long pale-pink dress. She has a large kerchief folded into a triangle around her neck and crossed across her breasts. She is barefoot. She looks slender, agile, elegant. Her head is bent forward. She is silently intent on her work. The painter changes her into a girl selling onions, her shoulders leaning on the sill of the large window of the studio. She smiles cheekily, her hair mussed, when he puts a basket on her shoulder and shows her doing a dance step.
Then he paints her amidst the olives, like a nymph in the woods. Her body clings tightly to the curves of the tree-trunk, her left arm entangled in one, her right arm supporting herself. A patch of olive leaves is in back, setting the main subject, Rosina's face, shown in profile, a mysterious touch of hidden sensuality. The sea of Capri is hidden among the leaves. Pale blue lost in green."

The time that the young Sargent spent on the island was intense and fruitful. He was destined for a radiant artistic career. We add only that his season on Capri ended as it began, at Marina Grande that one hot summer's day. That was when, in the midst of women and street urchins, he discovered ammuine, a word that had no English translation and still doesn't.

[note: It has no one-to-one translation, but you can explain it. That's what translators live for! Ammuine  is a state not only of confusion but of accepting confusion as normal. That describes Sargent's entire life, by the way. It also describes living in Naples.]

The same grand ammuine hit the Pagano Hotel when the painters threw a party for him before he left. Everyone went crazy, carousing with freshly opened wine and happy music from a colorful group of musicians. Besides the usual group and Benner, who was, as noted, the "troop leader", there were other French painters such as Edouard Sain, who had used Rosina as a model but had also married a local island girl. He now painted only island themes and in Paris was called the "Capri painter". And there were many others.

At the end of the party, they invited Rosina and a companion to dance atop one of the roofs of the Pagano Hotel, a real terrace
facing the sky. It was then that John Singer Sargent wrote the last page of his lovely Naples diary.

"A pale pink twilight wrapped them like a surreal veil. It wasn't; it's just the magic of Capri doing what it does. On one of the white roofs of the hotel, a young woman moved with extreme lightness, moving her sinuous body and long arms to the steps of the dance. The dark sound of a large tambourine echoed in the air, played by another woman seated and leaning against one of the characteristic chimneys of the island. Then came the Tarascone, a dance from the dawn of time. More than a dance, it's a ritual in which the drum is the voice of God.

"The rhythm of the drum and the steps of the dancer conserve intact the mystery of a vital force passed by oral tradition on the island. It is the moon, herself, the high priestess of this primordial ritual, looking  timidly down over the hills of the Semaphore, sprinkled with a dark green broken only by the white of a few houses."

end part 3
start 4

In the weeks after Sargent left Capri, Hyde went back to the carpenter Arcangelo, whom Sargent had once had fix the large window in his studio. The carpenter recalled that Sargent had even drawn sketches for him of what he wanted. That is what I went looking for. Sargent's palette was there. I found it by moving a lot of sawdust out of the way with my foot. I cleaned it as best I could. Across from the sketch of the window, itself, there was a sketch on wood, one of Sargent's lovely olive trees that Arcangelo had not known what to do with. Hyde later claimed it.

After Sargent left, Rosina kept modelling. At the Pagano Hotel nasty gossip-mongers said Sargent never even paid her, taking advantage of her love for his work. She refused money, they said.  No one knows exactly what went on between the two. It's a sure thing, however, that many painters came to Capri in the  following years. They wanted Rosina and knew about her from the very popular works of John Singer Sargent. Rosina was always the most sought-after model on the island.

Speaking about her to his friends in London, English painter Adrian [Scott] Stokes (1854-1935) who had used her as a model in some of his works, said it wasn't just her beautify or that her dark eyes  and panther-like stately gait made her seductive. She had the ability to show absolutely no interest at all in the fact that you were painting her. Like the big-time models in Paris.

And Charles Sprague Pearce (1851-1914), an American artists who showed works he had done of her with great success at the Paris Salon of 1882, declared in an interview that Rosina was the wildest of the wild beasts on the wild island of Capri. Even Carl Breitbach (1833-1904), one of the many German artists at the Pagano in that last glimmer of the 1800s, had her as a model, and maybe that's not all. When he painted her, Rosina was 23. In his portrait, her face shines, now a bit roundish. Her right hand holds a handkerchief to her breast, as if she was talking about a marriage. Who knows?

Be that as it may, when she posed for Federico del Campo (1837-1923), a Peruvian painter whose two great loves were Venice and Capri, Rosina already had a little girl, Maria, 4 years old. No one ever found out who the father was. Not even Horace Fischer, whom she posed for at the time. He posed her wrapped in a linen dress, with a daisy in her hair.

This 1876 portrait is by Oliver I. Lay
At that time she was a maid and a model for the American Charles Caryl Coleman (1840-1928) who lived at the Villa Mura on Capri. (There is an earlier separate entry on Coleman here.) It was on the road up to the castle, a stone's throw from where Hyde and Sargent had lived 10 years earlier, the ancient Theresian monastery. [trans. note— It's still called the Castle of Barbarossa by everyone.]

The English-speaking community on the island called Coleman "Uncle Charlie. He was popular on the island, strong and powerful, with silver hair and beard, now turning to snow. He did not pass unnoticed. All around him at Villa Mura there was a tight group of "Anglo-Saxon"* artists.

*[note: It  is still common in current Italian to use that term to mean native speakers of English. They expect you to know why Bede was so damned Venerable and everything about King Alfred.]

His passion for Capri drove him. One of his best known works is "Women in the wheatfields, Anacapri."  The view is straight across the Gulf of Naples to the island of Ischia, about 25 km away to the NW.

There is no doubt who that woman is:
Rosina Ferrara, the "muse of Capri."


The "Anglo-Saxons" put on their own art shows and had grand parties with plenty of ancient knick-knacks and works of art (principally their own) on display. At the time they were very big on Greek and Roman handmaidens, often drawn amid columns of a grand terrace facing a panorama of Capri.

Various Assuntinas, Nanninas and Raffaellinas of Capri served the receptions. They were dressed like the handmaidens — fascinating, light, sensuous, their curls bound back in a bun, and a coral necklace to embellish the breast. Thus, after a few glasses of good local wine, guests saw their paintings spring to life.

Rosina, her daughter Maria and her sister, Carmela Ferraro, were in the service of Coleman at the time. The first one, of course, was his favorite model.

[This is a quote about Coleman from author Aprea's source.]

"That was the lovely reaper whom Coleman painted close-ups of, painted in a field of wheat lit by the setting sun, painted among quail startled into flight in the midst of pink and red poppies against a pale golden sun of a drowsy Anacapri. The sea in the distance opens like an embrace."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
end part 4
start part 5
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In February of 1890, uncle Charlie opened the Villa Mura to his new young friend, George Randolph Barse Jr. from Detroit (1861-38). Like many other American painters of the 1800s, Barse had studied art in Europe, in Paris.

Barse had then gone back to the United States, but now for the last two years was back here in the Old Continent to refine his style and broaden the scope of his artistic choices. The island of Capri was certainly one stopover not to be missed!

He thought —and he wasn't wrong— that his chance meeting with uncle Charlie had been one of the luckiest things to have happened to him in his young life. He didn't know, of course, that fate had a more important meeting in store for him. Towards the end of that summer, Coleman was in America on business and Barse was the only guest in that marvelous house, the only person lucky enough to enjoy the attention of the women of the house. The women, though, never paid him much attention. So without ever really being aware of what was happening to him, Barse one day just realized he had fallen in love with Rosina Ferrara, the young woman on the left. It is not dated but is signed by Barse. How old can she be? My guess is 17-20.

He wrote to his sister, Grace, about it. She lived in Kansas City and he adored her. She was the one person he could confide in. He opened up to her about being in Italy, missing her and being homesick. He told her of the woman he had met and how he felt he was floating in a sea of sweetness, of his dreams and his plans. In return, he got an angry, highly indignant letter from his sister: "My dear brother! How can you put our family's good name in danger like this?! You are linking your fate to a woman with, according to what you say, an unknown and hidden past? How can you do this to our father? He loves you and has supported you throughout this long adventure of yours so far from home?"                 
The date of this Barse portrait of his bride-to-be is uncertain. He was in love. ca. 1890.    

Now caught in the terrible middle, Barse was desperate. He turned to Delbert Haff, his sister's fiancé. He was probably the one person who could get his sister to change her mind. Barse wrote:

"Dear Delbert, my Rose is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. You can imagine the pleasure I felt when my friend Coleman left for America and she could give me the small bits of daily attention that she normally gave  him. She kept me company doing her knitting in the long hours I spent painting in the garden, often not saying a word so as not to distract me. It reassured me just to have her there, and I don't think I even understood the real reason why.

"Then I knew. I thought of writing Coleman about it in the States. I wanted him to be the first to know. It was Rosina who begged me not to do that. She said 'Mr. Coleman is in love with me —I'm not proud of that— but I've known it for a while even though he never said anything'."
"Delbert, my friend, I feel that this is the woman in my life. She understands artists and loves her modelling work. On Capri she has come to know English and American artists who are among the finest of our day: Frederic Leighton, John Sargent (who made a fortune painting her) and Elihu Vedder, who is now setting up residence at Le Parate. Yet, believe me, he'd be happy living in poverty and working with me."
On 2 September 1890 George Barse, from Sorrento, wrote another long letter to his sister:
"Dear Grace, you misjudge me. I assure you that all I want out of life now is to have Rose, a small home and my work. I only want you to understand me. Rose knows you from photos I've shown her and from what I've told her about you. She knows how important you are to me. Please write to her. Do it for me. Tell her she'll be like a sister to you."
For months letter after letter went back and forth between Kansas City and Rome, where the painter was now staying. Little by little, good words got the upper hand. Barse could now hope that he had won over his family.

Barse kept painting at a furious rate. He exhausted himself, but at least the two most important persons in his life were closer together. Rosina sent frequent letters to him in Rome, and his sister wrote:

"Dear George, with a bit of patience and work everything will work out. Your work and your health are what count. Love your Rosina because she needs it. You are the one shining light in her future. I am ready to do anything you ask. If you think I can be of help to you in Rome, I'll be there. Models are expensive there and your financial situation is not good. I have a cousin in Rome and I could stay there. It would also be good for Maria; you know what schools are like on Capri...."
On 27 October 1890 Barse asked Delbert to get him the papers he needed to get married. On 19 November Rosina turned 29. Next year on 20 January in Rome, George Randolph Barse Jr,  and Rosa Ferraro of were lawfully wed. The witness was an old friend of both and a great friend to the island, Dr. Axel Munthe of Villa San Michele in Anacapri.

  Barse was in great  demand as an illustrator.
  This cover is from June 1905. Looks like his wife!
George and Rose Barse spent most of that happy year in Rome. He painted, and she, as always, modeled. They had her daughter, Maria, with them, who now finally had a father. They left Rome for America at the end of 1891 and settled in New York City and later in nearby Katonah, a bit to the north, where his family had some property. George Barse followed his career. He was a highly valued painter and illustrator. In 1895 he got the most important commission of his life: the eight allegorical panels that adorn the Library of Congress, the National Library of the U.S.A. in Washington. (One of those, Erotica, is shown, image, right.) Three years later he was given an award by the Society of American Artists. In 1901 he won a medal at the Buffalo Exposition, home of his friend, Coleman

Barse painted this portrait of Rosina in 1900.
Rosina was happy at his side. She posed for him and dedicated her days to her daughter, Maria, as well as to another Maria, her sister Carmela's daughter, who in those years was staying with them. Her own little piece of heaven was the small garden behind the house. It had roses that she tended to every morning and a bee-hive she was especially fond of. With the flowers and bees, her time passed without too much trouble. She and George spent almost every summer on Capri. He painted the little nooks and crannies he loved, as well as women he saw out harvesting grapes or wheat. She went around to the places and persons she loved. Back in Katonah it was then sweet for both of them to harvest their own little home grape-vine.

Once, walking near the main square on Capri, they ran into the mayor, Edwin Cerio. He smiled at seeing them together:
 "You know, we talk about you two all the time! I've never known a couple more in love or a happier marriage then yours!"

In 1928 Charlie Coleman passed away from this world and from his splendid Villa Narcissus. For George and Rose the island was then no longer the same. George kept painting it; he couldn't quite do without that, and she dreamt of it at night in Katonah.
John Singer Sargent continued to travel, paint and collect honors. He often came back to Italy, particularly to San Vigilio on Lake Garda and to Venice, a city he felt very close to. He died in London on 15 April 1925.

At the beginning of November 1934, while visiting her niece Maria (now married and Signora/Mrs. Bernardo) Rosina felt ill. They took her to a hospital on Long Island. It was pneumonia —sudden, asymptomatic, merciless. She died on Nov. 5. She was not yet 72.
(Image here is the last known one of them together.)

You can say that George Barse died the same day, even if his life went on until February of '37. After Rose died, he moved in with cousin Maria Bernardo, and on that terrible day, it was she, cousin Maria, who found him. Police said he had closed the garage the afternoon before and meticulously sealed up every opening in the place with rags. Then he sat down behind the wheel of the car, turned on the engine and waited for death. He left a note saying he had done what he wanted to in life and now just wanted to sleep. He had simply outlived "the woman in my life."

At his express wishes, he was cremated and his ashes and those of his beloved Rosina were strewn in their rose garden in Katonah.

translator's note: I take responsibility for the accuracy of my translation, jm.
Centro Documentale dell’Isola di Capri address: Via Le Botteghe 30, Capri.
This is the link to the website of the web journal Capri Review. Scroll though the Italian
to get to the English. Aprea's essay is part of the project, "Guardians of Memory."
the author's email address is
this is the link to the Facebook page of the Centro Documentale dell’Isola di Capri.

to art portal                                                   to top of this page
© 2002 to 2023