Saturday 9 November 2019


Robert Hawthorn Kitson, in 1906

Robert Hawthorn Kitson was born into a wealthy family

Robert's grandfather James Kitson founded the British locomotive engineering firm Kitson and Company

Robert's uncle was James Kitson, 1st Baron Airedale

Robert's parents were often away from home and he and his two sisters 'shared memories of brutal nannies, who even drugged him with opium to keep him quiet'.

Casa Cuseni

After his father's death in 1899 Robert moved to Taormina in Sicily where he designed and built a villa with views of Mount Etna - Casa Cuseni.

Those who came to stay with Robert at Casa Cuseni included Greta Garbo, Coco Chanel, Pablo Picasso, Bertrand Russell and Roald Dahl.

Robert Hawthorn Kitson in 1911

 In Taormina, Robert's longtime companion was the Sicilian Carlo Siligato. 

Carlo Siligato. Sicilian boy Carlo Siligato

Robert owned a collection of Wilhelm von Gloeden's photographs.

Robert Kitson was one of Wilhelm von Gloeden's clients.

Carlo Siligato by Vincenzo Galdi

Casa Cuseni, where Kitson and Siligato had an adopted child.

'The frescoes in the hidden room portray the love story between Robert Kitson and his partner in life, painter Carlo Siligato.

In 1908, when Messina was destroyed by an earthquake, Carlo Siligato and Robert Kitson adopted a little child, Francesco.

Casa Cuseni

'In 1948, Daphne Phelps, Kitson's niece, inherited Casa Cuseni from her uncle.'

'Daphne Phelps studied with Anna Freud and was a friend of Albert Einstein.

'Daphne Phelps  devoted the greater part of her life to the preservation and maintenance of Casa Cuseni.'

Casa Cuseni


Frank Kitson was the son of Marjorie de Pass, daughter of Sir Eliot Arthur de Pass. His uncle Frank de Pass was the first Jewish recipient of the Victoria Cross.[1]

He was educated at Stowe School.[1]

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At 10 November 2019 at 08:01 , Anonymous Anonymous said...


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