Yes, to both questions.
Working from Photographs, Postcards and Posters
Examples of commercially printed source materials for Buongiorno paintings—widely available tourist postcards, most frequently—beg the question: Did he cheat? Did he copy someone else’s work? Or did he create permitted “adaptations” in a different medium?
Does it matter?
During his whole career, there is ample proof that Buongiorno always intentionally made commercial images to sell. He was never known to experiment with, or mimic modern art (which was widely exhibited in New York City during his period of residence.) Nor try to invent a new art vocabulary, like later modernists, so maybe it is irrelevant that some of his images were not original.
Buongiorno painted some paintings more than once, presumably because they were “best sellers.” The record found, so far, is four paintings of the same subject in the same pose—the fisherman lighting a pipe seen below.
There are also paintings of this model by Vincenzio Busciolano and Raffaele Frigerio, two Neapolitan artist contemporaries of Buongiorno, who both also studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in Naples, at the same time as Buongiorno.
At first I was thrilled to be able to confirm that the three artists knew each other, because I assumed they hired a model together.
Then I found a tourist postcard of the period—of the same model, in the same pose—which proved otherwise. It seems more likely that all three artists worked from that postcard, either together or independently of each other.
Then I found a black and white source photograph of the man in the postcard, suggesting that the distance from model to commercial images was short and perhaps all of these men knew each other in Naples—model, photographer, postcard printer, and painters.