I’m sure this handsome young man of comely proportions has featured in the photography of Guglielmo Plüschow on multiple occasions, but cannot spot him in any of my previous posts right now : this requires a little more thorough investigation as I do so enjoy identifying models and scenes from picture to picture!
A quite remarkable compilation of male nudes, published in France, 1903; though they follow the tradition of enterprising photographers capturing a model in various poses to aid artists with their anatomy, each has been trimmed to fit onto a single spectacularly decorated page, thus turning mere reference material into a thing of beauty!
The original printed page is an impressive 38 x 28cm, do click for a larger view.
A table for two, a mug of beer each, and what shared secrets whispered soft by his ear we shall never know!
Dear readers, antique-erotic turns two years old tomorrow! Let us drink a toast to the sweet success of this pet endeavour of mine; I am forever amazed and offer a heartfelt thank you that so many of you have joined me to watch the progress of the collection, to share the images you’ve loved the most, and to send in your kind comments and pictures, all through the first two long and lovely years.
Edmond Lebel. Etude de nu masculin de dos, 1850.
Musée d’Orsay - Paris - France
A remarkable early photograph of an artists’ model, painter Edmond Lebel took his own reference pictures rather than relying on published prints to find the desired poses for his work.
A luminously beautiful photograph by Wilhelm von Gloeden, taken in the sumptuous setting of his own Mediterranean garden (the very same spot as seen here); white foliage with velvety-bloom, a fallen leaf against his foot, the hollyhock grasped lazily in one hand. Do take a moment to view this gorgeous portrait full size, as the clarity and detail are quite marvellous, we can savour every last curve and contour of his lovely form, right down to the creases in his skin. In the upper border of the negative is marked the catalogue number (1600) and the precise date on which this photograph was taken, the 16th of June, 1899.
What a wonderfully warm overcoat this chap wears for his photographic portrait in the late 19th century, we do not see many dressed in heavy winter clothing and this looks a grand example indeed.
Captured on camera around 1895, a fine-looking young man poses for Guglielmo Plüschow with great poise and confidence, fixing us with those deep dark eyes as he displays his handsome well-toned body with pride.
Grateful thanks to reader Ollie for his kind words of appreciation, and donation of vintage photographs to add to the collection here, the first being this lovely shot of soldiers expressing their affection on camera.
"Hello, I a great admirer of your blog. Definitely one of the most fascinating and comprehensive collection of homoerotica and vintage gay lives captured in the late 1800s and early 20th century.
I’m not sure if you have already posted this image, so I apologize if you have. The image is a sweet WWI era photo of two amorous soldiers (of which nationality I am not sure) sharing a well-hidden kiss, while a third friend seeming watches in awe and feigned disgust (but, is obviously already aware of the romance).”
Milo Brinn, 1895.
"Milo Brinn (born Luigi Borra) performed feats of strength and took on all comers as a wrestler at the famous Folies Berger in Paris. Brinn’s act at the Folies consisted of tumbling and gymnastics, hand balancing, figure display, heavy juggling and feats of supporting and carrying weights. He could perform a crucifix with 66lb. in each hand and could do a one-leg squat holding 60 kg." From OldtimeStrongman.com
There exists this well-known 19th Century piece of homoerotica featuring two semi-clad sailors (or, infinitely more likely, two young men dressed as sailors for a short time only!), one of the very first photographs in my collection, so I was truly delighted to discover a second shot from the same set. All garments dispensed with besides one distinctive black hat, this lacks the endearing charm of the first but is considerably more explicit!
ca. 1890, [portrait of two gentlemen entangled]
via Not on Your Tintype: Collection of American Tintypes, Vol. 1, Andrew Daneman
Whether mere silliness between pals or relatives, a platonic affection openly displayed in a lost era where men were simply more comfortable with physical intimacy, or genuine feelings of attraction disguised as tomfoolery to keep a secret safe, it is impossible not to smile when seeing such cheerful chaps playing up to the camera.
Photographed by Thomas Eakins in Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, during the 1880s, an unusual scene featuring not just the model but two of the artists working on their depictions of his form. The picture is titled Charles Cox painting in the Art Student’s League : we can assume Mr Cox is the chap with the prominent white shirt sleeve, but take a careful look and you can spy a second, dark-clothed, student toward the left.
A magnificent young man from Taormina poses in photographer Wilhelm von Gloeden’s own garden; with its rambling, scrambling, leafy climbers and classically-inspired urns and pots spilling over with yet more plants, it provides a delightfully picturesque setting, an air of slipping into wildness and decay with the passage of time, while the strapping fellow posing there that day remains forever young and perfect.
Perhaps a little later than most of my choices (a judgement based, with no known date to go by, on the design of their ties, and the general spontaneity of style seeming much more like the amateur photography which became popular only after the Great War) but I just could not resist including such a wonderful moment captured on camera, for it is still a very long time ago, and a thing to be treasured!