A striking picture of von Gloeden’s Il Grande Fauno (the Great Faun), circa 1895. Where other photographs of this model posing in character appear innocent, detached stern expressions interspersed with the occasional friendly smile, in this there’s a distinct leaning toward celebrating the sensuality and eroticism of both his character, and his proudly displayed body, bare under hot bright sun.
An early 20th century male nude by Guglielmo Plüschow, his typical set-dressing with patterned carpet and fabric making a fine backdrop to the timeless masculine beauty of his models.
Though very similar to this other photograph by von Gloeden, the mood here is changed entirely - no peace and gentleness in the model’s pose, the addition of some dark stain to represent blood spilling beneath his fingers.
What a beautiful classically-inspired scene from von Gloeden; quite typical of his work, and quite lovely!
Four confident and classically elegant models clasp hands and pose in leafy unspoilt countryside, for the camera of Guglielmo Plüschow around the turn of the last century - could they be the same group seen enjoying a similar setting in this photograph?
A skilfully composed garden scene by Wilhelm von Gloeden, taken toward the end of the 19th century at his villa in Taormina, Sicily.
One of von Gloeden’s most recognisable models, the charming Pascquale Stracuzzi or ‘Pasqualino’ (right), in a very similar pose to this beautiful photograph, but here having gained an equally graceful and good-looking companion.
The bejewelled boy from Naples, his distinctive necklace and bangles barely visible in this shot, but more revealed by the dropping of the dark fabric which carefully covered him, when he posed for the better-known image in this set, Pompeii c1895.
Pascquale Stracuzzi poses for Wilhelm von Gloeden, in the latter years of the 19th century, the snowy peak of Mount Etna faintly visible behind him (as in this photograph from the same set). The pretty pale wildflowers have been carefully picked out by hand with white highlights, at first they appear genuine but on closer inspection are an artistic embellishment - editing of photographs to remove flaws or add detail is not a new pursuit by any means!
The glorious Nicola Giancola, photographed by F. Holland Day in the early years of the 20th century, but utterly timeless in beauty and sensuality. A much-improved copy of this exquisite photograph, I make no apologies for a repeat when the image is so breathtaking!
The moment I realised there was more than one Cain photograph in Wilhelm von Gloeden’s catalogue, I started to spot more and more variations. This one bears small ink annotations in von Gloeden’s own hand; if anyone can read what they say and would care to share with all the readers here, I’d be delighted to add that information to my caption!
A soft-focus scene from Guglielmo Plüschow, around 1900 - I cannot quite make out what he holds in his hand, but the basket spilling grapes at his side could indicate he poses as Dionysos.
Taken in the November of 1904, this photograph of Pancrazio Buccini Il Moro and a much taller friend (whose name is sadly not recorded) has been censored - at the time of publishing, not a modern digital edit - by the careful drawing in of a white loin cloth. This is not the only time this appears in von Gloeden’s work, as the examples here and here do show!
A lavishly-dressed set draped with carpets and fur provides a detailed backdrop for this male nude by Guglielmo Plüschow, around the turn of the last century.