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Sarah Greenough, “Alfred Stieglitz/Maria, Bellagio/1887, printed 1929/1934,” Alfred Stieglitz Key Set, NGA Online Editions, (accessed May 20, 2022).

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Key Set Entry

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In preparation for a biography of Stieglitz, Nancy Newhall made the following notes, based on a conversation with Stieglitz on 19 March 1942 regarding his visit to Bellagio: “Bellogia [sic], 1887. First of the Italian lake tours. Stieglitz so fascinated he stayed three days and let his friends wait for him. Found Maria Billette (?), the fruit seller early in the morning, when she had just set up her stall, and bought five pounds of grapes from her. When she said she couldn’t change his 10 lire note, he told her to keep it. She was about sixteen, and beautiful; took her portrait and her mother’s in the stall with the flight of stairs going up. Got to know all the children and laughed with them–could not speak Italian well, just enough to get the drift. Took ‘The Good Joke.’ Met Leone (Maria’s brother) a handsome boy, and took his portrait” (see Nancy Newhall, unpublished manuscript, 42, copy in NGA files).

This image was among the twelve photographs Stieglitz submitted to The Amateur Photographer’s “Photographic Holiday Work Competition” in the fall of 1887 (see Key Set number 33).

Stieglitz Collections

A corresponding print was given to the following institution(s) by Alfred Stieglitz during his lifetime, or was received or acquired from the estate:

George Eastman Museum, Rochester, 83:0660:0007 [lantern slide] (inscribed: Maria [Bellagio, 1887] 1892 / 69 / Soc. of Am. Photos N.Y. / 88)

Other Collections

A print corresponding with this photograph can also be found in the following collection(s):

National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2006.3.1.10 [platinum]

Lifetime Exhibitions

A print from the same negative—perhaps a photograph from the Gallery’s collection—appeared in the following exhibition(s) during Alfred Stieglitz’s lifetime:

1888, Vienna (no. 52.a.1, as Obstverkäuferin)
1889, Berlin (no. 81.8, as Bellagio’s “Maria”)
1891, Glasgow (no. 146, as Maria Ballatti, platinotype)
1891, New York (no. 239, as Maria)
1899, New York (no. 34, as Maria, The Fruit Girl, 1887, platinum direct)
1934, New York (no. 18, as Maria, Bellagio, 1887)

Lifetime Publications

A reproduction of this work appeared in the following publication(s) during Alfred Stieglitz’s lifetime:

The Amateur Photographer 7, special number (11 July 1888): cover (ill., Italian Basket Maker)

Sadakichi Hartmann, Landscape and Figure Composition (New York, 1910): 92, fig. 94 (ill., Shelling Peas)

Sadakichi Hartmann, “Figure Composition,” The Photographic Times 42 (January 1910): 29 (ill., Shelling Peas)


by Doris Bry, on mount, lower left verso, in graphite: 63A


Georgia O'Keeffe; gift to NGA, 1949.

Associated Names
O'Keeffe, Georgia
Exhibition History
Photographs by Alfred Stieglitz, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, March 16–April 27, 1958
Engelhard, Georgia. "The Face of Alfred Stieglitz." Popular Photography 19 (September 1946): 53.
Greenough, Sarah. Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Photographs. Washington, 2002: vol. 1, cat. 34.
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