Forgotten Legend of Garvanza’s Inner Circle

by Pasadena Adjacent

Antonio Corsi 1868 – 1924

Once again, our little Pasadena Adjacent bohemian enclave of Garvanza; nestled in the picturesque Highlands on the banks of the Arroyo Seco, prepares itself to reveal yet another hidden gem of history. The favored 19th century art model Antonio Corsi, who hung about with the bohemian elite of the California Arts and Crafts movement including William Lees Judson, Clyde Browne and Charles Lummis.

James Rosenquist

Antonio Corsi, silent film actor and the most famous living artist’ model in his day, was known locally for his extravagant spaghetti invitationals. These late night parties often ended with revelers attired in Corsi’s collected costumes, parading through our Garvanza streets.

modeling on the east coast: Boston 1909

A gypsy child whose ambiguous appearance allowed him to portray a plethora of racial identities, Antonio Corsi would make his appearance well-known in a variety of celebrated works. Most respectfully, in 11 out of 16 figures for John Singer Sargent’s “ Frieze of Prophets.“ Less respectably, for that Eifel Tower of Indian kitche “End of the Trail”

Sergent’s Frieze of the Prophets – Boston Public Library

Sadly, it appears that while Antonio Corsi lay dying of consumption, opportunistic actress Bobby Nye obtained power of attorney over his estate. She quickly liquidated it upon his death without concern for the future of Mr Corsi’s self-documented legacy. His story fell into obscurity


Antonio Corsi Film Trailer

Fortunately, a respected documentary film maker named Jake Gorst, came upon Corsi’s richly detailed archives and is developing a film pertaining to Corsi’s life. A 2015 release date is the goal. And he’s looking for funding through Kickstarter. Read more about it here