A lamentably small picture, but nonetheless lovely, of the gorgeous Carlo, one of the esteemed stars of this collection. Photographed in a series of seductive poses by Vincenzo Galdi, at the home of his lover Robert Hawthorn Kitson, in 1906. The other portraits of this most alluring of sitters can be seen here.
With the graceful tilt of his hips and lifted heel, this man’s pose immediately brings to mind the elegance and power of those gods depicted in classical statues, a flesh-and-blood example of the same combination of strength and beauty revered there as the epitome of masculine perfection.
He also has, it must be said, the most impressive moustache of any of von Gloeden’s many models!
The sublimely beautiful Nicola Giancola, a favourite model of F. Holland Day in the first decade of the 20th century - it is not difficult to see why this boy in his early 20s was so frequently photographed by the man who plucked him from obscurity - not only his sensual, timeless beauty but the emotion in his poses; he acts his parts with feeling, whether the exquisite suffering of Saint Sebastian, a vision of sweet innocence as he floats through the hazy forest in a dream, or the heroic nobility of this mythological character, described simply as ‘Youth with Feathered Hat and Robe’.
As the first animated blacksmith I shared here was rather well-enjoyed, I thought it was time to include another - this time two work together to hammer the hot steel much more efficiently. Again made from a set of sequential photographs taken in the 1870s by Eadweard Muybridge (Animal Locomotion vol II, plate 337).
A serious-faced young Italian man, captured on camera by Guglielmo Plüschow around the turn of the century, impeccably lit with natural daylight to create deep shadows and highlight each and every luscious curve. The vast majority of his pictures were taken outdoors, these intimate indoor portraits seem as though they may be more personal - a model photographed for the pleasure of his lover, perhaps; a glimpse into a private home.
A splendid photograph I’ve featured before, a long while back, here revealed in its fuller glory - it is always a shame to see them cropped tight, never knowing what we lose, and I do not think it too tiresome to repeat a posting in order to show you a better copy of an image I much admired the first time around.
My goodness, at this precise moment my dear little collection’s esteemed audience stands at an astounding eight thousand followers! I never even imagined it might make eight hundred, I was honestly pleased with achieving but eighty, and now look at you all! I thank each and every one for your interest, your sharing and showing your admiration of the photographs, and all the kind messages of appreciation; and I fervently hope you’ve all found plenty to enjoy in what you’ve seen here over the last couple of years.
I have been unable to find you a photograph of eight men together, to mark today’s total the way I did some other significant figures, so allow me to cheat just a little and present eight exposures of the same man, in a Marey Wheel photograph by Thomas Eakins, circa 1884.
Another fine-figured fellow poses with disc in hand, this an anonymous male model from photographer Frank Eugene Smith. A great pity I cannot find a larger copy of this gorgeous image, his pictures appear all the more lovely at a higher resolution.
The exquisite Ange Camilli, first prize winner of an early bodybuilding contest in France - probably c1920 from the quality of the photograph and style of his hair. Images from this glorious set are often incorrectly dated to 1863, because of the AN Paris 63 in the lower right - but this refers to publisher Alfred Noyer and his numbered registration of patent on the set.
George Reynolds, student of Thomas Eakins, photographed in motion with multiple exposures of a Marey Wheel camera, in 1884.
A 1905 postcard by Wilhelm von Gloeden, beautiful in its tones of hazy blue, and the oh-so-handsome model bedecked with a wreath of laurel leaves. The image is, in fact, cropped from a larger photograph, one of a set taken some time between 1895 and 1898 at Monte Ziretto, Taormina. The full scene, with a second young man almost entirely trimmed out of this postcard version, can be seen here.
Trimmed into an uncommon diamond shape, an early 20th Century portrait for two fond friends. Interesting, but I daresay a little difficult to frame at that angle; perhaps this one was kept instead on a study desk, or in a drawer of treasured posessions.
A second shot from the 1910 Lads and Lore series by photographer Edmund Edwinstone, demonstrating again his bold and unashamedly sexual content in a time when homoerotic male nudity tended to be given a classical camouflage, a pretence of being purely intellectual and artistic to conveniently conceal any more lustful reasons to acquire it.
Aside from the historical interest, this is simply a superb photo, such beaming grins from both models as they display their stripped and sun-drenched bodies before the camera, with one compact and admirably muscular while the other is lithe and long and lean - very different but equally magnificent!
This wonderful 19th century tintype photograph has it all : handsome chaps in splendid hats, a quite quite strange item of furniture to balance upon, the touching intimacy of their affectionate pose, and last but by no means least, the charming blush of hand-tinted red to their cheeks - perhaps a touch over-exaggerated on the right-hand fellow, or maybe he really did have rosy cheeks the developer was aiming to recreate accurately!
My previous stereoscopic image was rather well-received, despite our inability to see the clever three-dimensional effect here on an ordinary screen, so I thought I’d find you a few more! This time the differences between panels are less apparent, the model himself appears almost identical in each, but we can see the curtain and pillar are noticably closer in the image for the right eye.