Sargent and Beaux also paralleled each other in their worship of male beauty. Both even had handsome, mustachioed Italian servants: Sargent's Nicola d'Inverno, the painter's valet and model for some twenty years, and Beaux's Natale Gavagnin, gardener and handyman, on whose devotion she depended....
For his part, Sargent paid for Nicola's fitness training at the Quinting Hogg Gymnasium in London, and replenished the valet's pockets when he lost money at the races, as was his usual custom.
...One of the earthiest of them all is Sargent's portrayal of the young Nicola D'Inverno, who entered Sargent's service in 1892. In this drawing, D'Inverno lies completely open to view, arranged sinuously upon his cushions, like an odalisque. He exhibits the same dark sensuality as Dr. Pozzi, here laid bare. It is difficult not to see him as an object of desire, whether in fantasy or fact makes little difference.
...Like Travers, Sargent never made a public declaration of sexual preference; and if he was a closet case, unlike Travers, he never settled down with a same-sex companion (unless you count his manservant, Nicola d'Inverno - and maybe you should, for he remained in the artist's employ for two dozen years and posed for several paintings - sometimes as a woman).