An exquisite model of quite simply sublime masculine beauty; what perfection of features, what wondrous body bared with poise and confidence for appreciative eyes to admire! A timelessly lovely young man photographed by Guglielmo Plüschow over a hundred years ago, still utterly captivating today.
One for the fans of finely kept facial hair, these dapper chaps from the late 19th century sport a superb moustache apiece! Their matching check suits are also rather smart, all in all a very pleasing photograph!
I promised more of the Deriaz brothers when last I shared a photograph from this family of remarkable strongmen. Here is another picture of Adrien, published in the magazine La Culture Physique, 1905, when he placed second in a competition for ‘physical beauty’, the precursor to body building contests later in the century. The winner was a fellow called Paul Gasquet, but I haven’t been able to find a photograph to prove his superiority!
Sent in by a generous enthusiast of the Arcadian photographers, here is a picture which goes rather well with one posted last month : if that subtly suggested imminent use of the cane, then this example records the application! Although we know von Gloeden frequently used a home-made pigment mix to conceal obvious tan lines and blemishes, so it is likely the stripes across this man’s behind are mere make-up rather than genuine painful swipes of the stick his fellow model wields.
Tennis with Muybridge (1887)
From pioneering motion-picture-maker Eadweard Muybridge’s historically significant Animal Locomotion study. Specifically the naked guy playing tennis, in zoetrope format.
A splendid sixth photograph in this quite wonderfully raunchy old set of smut - taken around 1880, these are some of the very earliest explicit homosexual scenes to be published. As with heterosexual pornography of the era, the models giving such a great performance were likely recruited from a brothel, which goes a little way to explain the attitude of cool confidence with which they appear to relish indulging their passions here in the photographer’s studio.
Two contrasting young men photographed by Wilhelm von Gloeden, 1898 - one tall and willowy, all long lean limbs and wiry muscle, the other short with lovely luscious curves and a sweet softness to his figure. Their opposing poses, too, cater to varying tastes; whether you prefer to see the plump contours of a lovely derriere, or for the model to face the camera full-on and reveal other equally admirable endowments!
Photographed circa 1870 by Gaudenzio Marconi, this male model possesses a wonderfully well-defined physique; so much so that this particular print of his image has been annotated as an anatomical illustration.
Basking in the heat of the Mediterranean sun, a fine amateur model displays the beauty of his body, between 1903 and 1907. The raised arm is perfectly poised with fingertips against the wall - not, perhaps, the most comfortable of positions for sunbathing, but quite quite elegant and allowing the eye to be drawn along his smooth curves as he stretches.
I’m not sure whether there’s been a photograph of Canadian origin in my collection before, this one taken in Toronto in the early 20th century. What a charmingly casual pose they assume, their affection unconcealed as one perches above the other to fit into the same shot.
A truly spectacular set of Victorian pornography, twelve pictures I’ve collected from the same extraordinary, beautiful and intensely erotic session, well over a hundred years ago. I believe their connection is clear, in the soft smiles, the eye contact, the tenderness in the way hands lay on bodies; everything tells that this pair were lovers before and after this day on which we see them act out all their passion before the camera.
(Each picture from this adored collection can be picked out singly here should you want to take particular images not the full set as I have arranged it)
Dearest readers; in honour of the 1000th post in my collection, I have updated this set to include my two most recent finds! Loathe to replace the most widely appreciated post I have ever made here (your love for these daring darlings is astonishing, and glorious!), I have instead expanded this dearly treasured photo set with the extra two splendidly smutty pretty little images of 19th century debauchery and delight.
Surrounded by the beautiful pale almond blossom which covers the hills around Taormina each year, this 1890s portrait by Guglielmo Plüschow captures an anonymous but admirably handsome young man in captivating detail, from the ruffled mess of untidy curls to the faint smile lines around his expressive deep-set eyes.
Seated on an old weathered stone bench - the setting for several of von Gloeden’s photographs - one of the fine young Sicilian men of Taormina, who modelled so wonderfully at ease and uninhibited before the camera in the late 19th century.
One of the most fantastically decorated mounts I’ve seen, I couldn’t resist this photograph of two smartly dressed chaps sharing a seat - they don’t appear overjoyed to have their picture taken, but then smiling for a portrait was not de rigeur in their day.
Something of a rarity in von Gloeden’s catalogue of work, an academic nude in an artificially lit studio makes a marked contrast to his usual sunny scenes of Arcadian bliss. No less beautiful than the usual young men posing outdoors, this male model is captured wonderfully in his prime circa 1900, in an image which displays the photographer’s masterful use of light and shadow, no matter what the source.