|Iago (1867) Julia Margaret Cameron|
Obviously I wanted to know about him (for purely academic reasons, honestly) and so off to the web I went. Most places cite the model as being Angelo Colarossi, a professional model of Italian descent. Angelo was the studio assistant for Alfred Gilbert, the sculptor, and acted as model for Eros...
To start with, even I noticed there was a problem with the identification of Angelo as Iago. Iago was photographed about 8 years before Angelo was born which would make it a bit tricky for him to pose for it (unless he had a time machine, I never rule that out). As luck would have it, he was the son of Angelo Colarossi Snr who also acted as a model for John William Waterhouse, Millais, Leighton and others. Get a load of this...
|Athlete Wrestling with a Python (1877) Frederick Leighton|
|The Sleepers and the One who Watcheth (1870) Simeon Solomon|
|Alessandro di Marco (1865) Edward Burne-Jones|
|Cimabue (1853) Frederick Leighton|
|A May Service for Young Women (1868) Alphonse Legros|
|The Prodigal Son G F Watts|
|The Prodigal's Return (1869) Edward Poynter|
I think my favourite picture done of Alessandro has to be this one...
|The Renaissance of Venus Walter Crane|
Scott also suggests that Alessandro may have been the face of Merlin in The Beguiling of Merlin...
|The Beguiling of Merlin Edward Burne-Jones|
Previously, it was suggested that Ned used William Stillman, husband of Marie Spartali Stillman for the figure of Merlin, and here is Rossetti's portrait of Stillman from around this time...
While it is not out of the question, I think the figure of the wizard looks more like a version of the figure in Love Among the Ruins, clean-shaven and Mediterranean. It is certainly true that Burne-Jones intended to use Stillman, but it isn't clear whether or not he managed to get a figure from him, and he expressed worry about the position that Stillman would have to hold. However, Alessandro, being a professional model, would be used to bending about (deary me!) and so would have found it no trouble.
On that lovely image I shall leave you. It occurs to me I have spent a couple of decades researching the lives of the female models but there is a wealth of gentlemen who modelled, whose lives are waiting to be discovered. Who knows what exciting stories wait to be told? Plus I get to spend more time legitimately staring at Iago.