A captivating solo portrait by Wilhelm von Gloeden, depicting one of the strapping young men of Taormina, Sicily - likely to have been one of the many fisherman he invited to model for his photography in this quiet coastal town, which would become something of a tourist destination once its delights had been revealed to the wider world. 

A captivating solo portrait by Wilhelm von Gloeden, depicting one of the strapping young men of Taormina, Sicily - likely to have been one of the many fisherman he invited to model for his photography in this quiet coastal town, which would become something of a tourist destination once its delights had been revealed to the wider world. 

It has been a regrettably long while since last I shared a photograph by the great Thomas Eakins, who in using photography to create the perfect reference material for his artwork, left us some images undeniably lovely in their own right. Here two nude men pose in the flower-speckled meadow by Eakins’ own home; though the picture is a little dark and indistinct, the sharp shadows on their skin tell of a glorious bright sunny day.

It has been a regrettably long while since last I shared a photograph by the great Thomas Eakins, who in using photography to create the perfect reference material for his artwork, left us some images undeniably lovely in their own right. Here two nude men pose in the flower-speckled meadow by Eakins’ own home; though the picture is a little dark and indistinct, the sharp shadows on their skin tell of a glorious bright sunny day.

Though I endeavour to bring a fresh selection of photographs each month, I am not averse to repeating an old favourite image if I happen across a more beautiful copy, for improved clarity and detail can only add to the many charms of such pictures. As I captioned this fellow’s photograph last time, “this may be a little out of my pre-war era as it has a distinctly 1920’s feel, but I could not resist. He looks so haughty, such assured confidence as he displays his body for our admiration - there’s a definite air of satisfaction here, knowing how he shall tease us with the results of his posing so proudly before the camera.”

Though I endeavour to bring a fresh selection of photographs each month, I am not averse to repeating an old favourite image if I happen across a more beautiful copy, for improved clarity and detail can only add to the many charms of such pictures.
As I captioned this fellow’s photograph last time, this may be a little out of my pre-war era as it has a distinctly 1920’s feel, but I could not resist. He looks so haughty, such assured confidence as he displays his body for our admiration - there’s a definite air of satisfaction here, knowing how he shall tease us with the results of his posing so proudly before the camera.”

In a little under three years, and a little over eight hundred photographs, we have reached, nay, exceeded, a truly remarkable (and mildly overwhelming) nine thousand followers. As at every one of these milestone figures, I wish to take a moment to thank you all, whether you’ve contributed lovely pictures, sent valued and cheering comments, or given information to add to my posts; whether you’ve shared the images so they may find a wider appreciative audience, or merely sat back and enjoyed the progress of this treasured little collection. I had hoped to post a group photograph of nine nude models to mark our impressive new total, but was unable to find such a scene from the relevant era, so we shall have to make do with just one, though a fine one he is, photographed at the very end of the 19th century, by Guglielmo Plüschow.

In a little under three years, and a little over eight hundred photographs, we have reached, nay, exceeded, a truly remarkable (and mildly overwhelming) nine thousand followers. As at every one of these milestone figures, I wish to take a moment to thank you all, whether you’ve contributed lovely pictures, sent valued and cheering comments, or given information to add to my posts; whether you’ve shared the images so they may find a wider appreciative audience, or merely sat back and enjoyed the progress of this treasured little collection.
I had hoped to post a group photograph of nine nude models to mark our impressive new total, but was unable to find such a scene from the relevant era, so we shall have to make do with just one, though a fine one he is, photographed at the very end of the 19th century, by Guglielmo Plüschow.

A final piece of early 20th century homoerotica for the month of May, and what a ravishing racy one it is! From that deliciously smutty Lads and Lore series by Edmund Edwinstone, with his unblushing emphasis on sexual intimacy and enjoying shared arousal. What a wondrous delight these images must’ve been to gents of particular preferences in an era where pornography to suit every taste was not a mere click away - not just titilation (though the pictures are worthy of all lustful imaginings they inspire!) but an affirming, inspiring sight of their sexuality being a source of happiness and pleasure, in a world where the prevailing public opinion was so damning.

A final piece of early 20th century homoerotica for the month of May, and what a ravishing racy one it is! From that deliciously smutty Lads and Lore series by Edmund Edwinstone, with his unblushing emphasis on sexual intimacy and enjoying shared arousal.
W
hat a wondrous delight these images must’ve been to gents of particular preferences in an era where pornography to suit every taste was not a mere click away - not just titilation (though the pictures are worthy of all lustful imaginings they inspire!) but an affirming, inspiring sight of their sexuality being a source of happiness and pleasure, in a world where the prevailing public opinion was so damning.


Fred Holland Day - Saint Sebastian tied to tree with rope, with arrow in side, elbow raised (1907)via

We have seen the perfectly lovely Nicola Giancola posed as St Sebastian before, this time with a dark stain of spilt blood below the single flesh-piercing arrow to be seen here. Still, the emphasis appears to remain upon the eroticism of the scene, the icon of homosexual desire and suffering St Sebastian was slowly becoming.

Fred Holland Day - Saint Sebastian tied to tree with rope, with arrow in side, elbow raised (1907)
via

We have seen the perfectly lovely Nicola Giancola posed as St Sebastian before, this time with a dark stain of spilt blood below the single flesh-piercing arrow to be seen here. Still, the emphasis appears to remain upon the eroticism of the scene, the icon of homosexual desire and suffering St Sebastian was slowly becoming.

One more photograph sent in by generous contributor John, who has kindly donated several pictures and some fascinating information to this blog already. This, a lovely example from von Gloeden’s admirable and expansive catalogue of works; with ever more lost gems coming on to the market as old prints are discovered, we are being utterly spoilt with just how much antique beauty has survived for us to marvel at.

One more photograph sent in by generous contributor John, who has kindly donated several pictures and some fascinating information to this blog already. This, a lovely example from von Gloeden’s admirable and expansive catalogue of works; with ever more lost gems coming on to the market as old prints are discovered, we are being utterly spoilt with just how much antique beauty has survived for us to marvel at.

A pair of fetching fellows pose for a double portrait, in the late 19th Century. I do love the varied gents’ fashions to be seen in the pictures from this era, I spend as long admiring the outfits as looking at the chaps’ faces!

A pair of fetching fellows pose for a double portrait, in the late 19th Century. I do love the varied gents’ fashions to be seen in the pictures from this era, I spend as long admiring the outfits as looking at the chaps’ faces!

Two of Wilhelm von Gloeden’s handsome and exceedingly charming amateur models from Taormina, c1895. On the right we see Asrah, one of the better-known faces from von Gloeden’s catalogue of work : so eloquent in his expressions, so keen to act his scenes with lively enthusiasm. His companion here far more sombre, I do not know his name; but they share more than one beautiful nude portrait in this setting, another can be seen here.

Two of Wilhelm von Gloeden’s handsome and exceedingly charming amateur models from Taormina, c1895. On the right we see Asrah, one of the better-known faces from von Gloeden’s catalogue of work : so eloquent in his expressions, so keen to act his scenes with lively enthusiasm. His companion here far more sombre, I do not know his name; but they share more than one beautiful nude portrait in this setting, another can be seen here.

Vincenzo Galdi again creates a quite deliberately provocative image combining earthy masculinity and tender beauty, this young man from Rome with heavy-lidded eyes - he feigns sleep, perhaps, yet is blissfully aware of the eyes upon him, the powerful erotic thrill of posing so sensuously stirs a reaction he cannot hide, nor would wish to.

Vincenzo Galdi again creates a quite deliberately provocative image combining earthy masculinity and tender beauty, this young man from Rome with heavy-lidded eyes - he feigns sleep, perhaps, yet is blissfully aware of the eyes upon him, the powerful erotic thrill of posing so sensuously stirs a reaction he cannot hide, nor would wish to.

A further sheet of artists’ reference photographs by Louis Jean Baptiste Igout, circa 1880. At the time, an extremely thrifty way to obtain accurate anatomical reference for the human form; today a fascinating survival from the creative process, a glimpse behind the scenes.

A further sheet of artists’ reference photographs by Louis Jean Baptiste Igout, circa 1880. At the time, an extremely thrifty way to obtain accurate anatomical reference for the human form; today a fascinating survival from the creative process, a glimpse behind the scenes.

There was a familiarity to this young man’s portrait, so I did a little searching and indeed we have seen him before, here. He has not only a memorable face, but something captivating about the directness with which he fixes his piercing gaze on the camera lens, and so stares out at the viewer of his immortal image, no matter how many decades have passed since he looked this way.

There was a familiarity to this young man’s portrait, so I did a little searching and indeed we have seen him before, here. He has not only a memorable face, but something captivating about the directness with which he fixes his piercing gaze on the camera lens, and so stares out at the viewer of his immortal image, no matter how many decades have passed since he looked this way.

Oh good Sirs, while I know it is not quite the fashion to look excessively merry in a photographic image, you could at least perhaps try not to look quite so miserably grim about it. Quite easily the most decidedly grumpy pair ever to have been featured in this collection!

Oh good Sirs, while I know it is not quite the fashion to look excessively merry in a photographic image, you could at least perhaps try not to look quite so miserably grim about it. Quite easily the most decidedly grumpy pair ever to have been featured in this collection!

One of Wilhelm von Gloeden’s most celebrated models, known by his affectionate nickname Il Moro, this time accompanied by an unknown companion. 

One of Wilhelm von Gloeden’s most celebrated models, known by his affectionate nickname Il Moro, this time accompanied by an unknown companion. 

vintagehandsomemen:

Art students posing with an artists’ model, circa 1912.

We see a great many photographs depicting artists’ models striking their dramatic or elegant poses, but very few scenes where they interact with those who are to recreate their image in works of art.

vintagehandsomemen:

Art students posing with an artists’ model, circa 1912.

We see a great many photographs depicting artists’ models striking their dramatic or elegant poses, but very few scenes where they interact with those who are to recreate their image in works of art.