A striking picture of von Gloeden’s Il Grande Fauno (the Great Faun), circa 1895. Where other photographs of this model posing in character appear innocent, detached stern expressions interspersed with the occasional friendly smile, in this there’s a distinct leaning toward celebrating the sensuality and eroticism of both his character, and his proudly displayed body, bare under hot bright sun.
A further addition to the 1855 set of reference photographs taken by Jean Louis Marie Eugène Durieu, for the famed artist Eugène Delacroix.
An early 20th century male nude by Guglielmo Plüschow, his typical set-dressing with patterned carpet and fabric making a fine backdrop to the timeless masculine beauty of his models.
Though very similar to this other photograph by von Gloeden, the mood here is changed entirely - no peace and gentleness in the model’s pose, the addition of some dark stain to represent blood spilling beneath his fingers.
A second artist’s reference image of this tall and well-toned model posing for Jacques de Lalaing, some time in the 1880s or 1890s. This print has been neatly drawn over with a grid pattern, which proves its former usefulness to the artist, even if it does distract somewhat from the aesthetic appeal of the shot, and the model’s good looks!
The Martyrdom of St Sebastian, by Oscar Rejlander circa 1867 - the earliest photographic representation of this saint in my collection, all three gathered here.
One of von Gloeden’s most recognisable models, the charming Pascquale Stracuzzi or ‘Pasqualino’ (right), in a very similar pose to this beautiful photograph, but here having gained an equally graceful and good-looking companion.
The magnificent Eugen Sandow, photographed here in 1894 by George Steckel, his physique looking every bit as impressive to a modern eye as it would have to his contemporaries.
The bejewelled boy from Naples, his distinctive necklace and bangles barely visible in this shot, but more revealed by the dropping of the dark fabric which carefully covered him, when he posed for the better-known image in this set, Pompeii c1895.
Pascquale Stracuzzi poses for Wilhelm von Gloeden, in the latter years of the 19th century, the snowy peak of Mount Etna faintly visible behind him (as in this photograph from the same set). The pretty pale wildflowers have been carefully picked out by hand with white highlights, at first they appear genuine but on closer inspection are an artistic embellishment - editing of photographs to remove flaws or add detail is not a new pursuit by any means!
An artists’ model photographed in the studio of Belgian sculptor Jacques de Lalaing, pencilled over with a grid to assist in converting image into artwork.
The glorious Nicola Giancola, photographed by F. Holland Day in the early years of the 20th century, but utterly timeless in beauty and sensuality. A much-improved copy of this exquisite photograph, I make no apologies for a repeat when the image is so breathtaking!
The moment I realised there was more than one Cain photograph in Wilhelm von Gloeden’s catalogue, I started to spot more and more variations. This one bears small ink annotations in von Gloeden’s own hand; if anyone can read what they say and would care to share with all the readers here, I’d be delighted to add that information to my caption!
A soft-focus scene from Guglielmo Plüschow, around 1900 - I cannot quite make out what he holds in his hand, but the basket spilling grapes at his side could indicate he poses as Dionysos.
One of the earliest sets of images in my whole collection, these reference photographs of the male nude were taken byJean Louis Marie Eugène Durieu, in association with the artist Delacroix, in 1855. Further poses can be seen here.