A striking 6 1/4 x 8 7/8" original mounted silver gelatin print by the pioneer of Nude Male photography, baron Wilhelm von Gloeden. The beautifully composed photograph depicts a handsome Sicilian young man completely naked, seated in profile to the left, and wearing a crown of flowers on his head. The setting suggests Greece or Italy of antiquity. The young man appears in many other photographs of von Gloeden's, and therefore seems to have been one of his favorite models. The original print is mounted on an olive 9 1/4 x 12 1/2" heavy cardstock, with a stamp of the K. K. Kunstgewerbliche Fachschule in Gablonz an der Neisse (now Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic) at lower right margin (not affecting print). Wilhelm von Gloeden (1856-1931) made quite an international reputation for himself as a photographer of ancient ruins and local peasants along the beautiful coast of Sicily, soon overshadowed by the under-the-counter photos of the naked prepubescent boys of Taormina. Indeed, in 1876, Wilhelm von Gloeden settled in Taormina, Sicily, where the remains and influences of the previous civilizations - Greek (amphitheater and columned temples), and Roman (aqueducts) were everywhere, and a place where the people themselves kept their beautiful mixture of Greek, Roman, and Arabic features. Soon, von Gloeden fell in love with the youths of Taormina, and by extension with the Sicilian people as a whole. During 1877-1878, he undertook his first photographic attempts, receiving instruction from local photographers. While on an excursion he visited Naples, where he established contact with photographer Wilhelm von Plüschow, a distant relative, who encouraged him in his ambition to become a serious photographer. Both men were gay and shared an interest in male nude studies: both envisioned an antique revival via photographic composition. At an age where Christian society hounded and tortured men of his kind, von Gloeden lived in total acceptance of who he was, and, as Charles Leslie writes: "[he] was one of those rare nineteenth century men who would not accept the destruction of his true being as the price for being allowed to survive in an allegedly civilized Western world that officially despised what he was. In his own way he triumphed, and therefore became one of those figures who, to this day, stand as models for people who dare to live the truth of what and who they are." (Charles Leslie, Wilhelm von Gloeden: Photographer. New York: Soho Photographic Publishers, 1977). Moderate age-toning along edges of cardstock, with a reference number written at both upper corners (not affecting print). Cardstock in overall good, photograph in very good condition. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Original Nude Male Photograph by Wilhelm von...
Publication Date: 1890
Book Condition: vg
Edition: Original document.
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