Early body-builder Otto Olympier proudly displays the astonishing muscle in his flexed arm, in this postcard from the 1910s. We’ve seen him pose (almost) nude to show off his phyisque before, here.
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!
An artists’ model photographed in the studio of Belgian sculptor Jacques de Lalaing, pencilled over with a grid to assist in converting image into artwork.
Notably different to the usual stiffly posed formal photographs, this pair appear refreshingly relaxed in front of the camera, standing as casually in the studio as they might when chatting to a pal in the street!
A captivating close-up portrait of Pietro by von Gloeden, taken in 1890s Taormina, Sicily.
Continuing the tradition of taking a look back at my personal favourites from the year’s postings, I present here a selection of choice images shared throughout 2016. Each links back to the single post, should you wish to grace your own blogs with a little male beauty and eroticism from a bygone era!
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 simply beautiful photograph of Il Moro - Pancrazio Bucini - in the late 1890s, posing with his usual dignified elegance by the sea.
A stunning find, here, a gloriously sensual nude by Wilhelm von Gloeden - the unseen side of the model in this far better-known photograph. How wonderful it is to see more of him; his face as he gazes coolly down the camera lens, his confidently bared body, even how the narrow necklace seen in the first picture carries a collection of pendants.
Tom White on Newporth Beach, taken in association with Henry Scott Tuke circa 1917.
Turn of the century titilation courtesy of Vincenzo Galdi, a smutty delight in an era where male nudity was generally presented as artistic innocence. Instead, he relishes the opportunity to provide startlingly saucy erotica featuring handsome Italian men, well-built, and often extremely well-endowed.
A glorious portrait of a truly timeless masculine beauty, this arguably most lovely of Guglielmo Plüschow’s graceful models. This image seems a close match to my favourite picture of him (indeed, one of my favourites in this entire collection, quite close to perfection!)
An exceedingly striking studio photograph from toward the end of the 19th century; surely he represents Bacchus, or Dionysus, with his garland of vine leaves and white grapes, and the jug for pouring wine in the set-dressing behind him.
An utterly beautiful reference photograph by Belgian sculptor Jacques de Lalaing, some time in the 1880s-90s : quite the most graceful and gloriously poised artists’ model I’ve laid eyes on for a long time!
An exquisitely beautiful photograph by Guglielmo Plüschow; though I endeavour to avoid repeats this picture is well worthy of revisiting for a closer look, my previous copy being smaller and lacking the finer details which make this so striking to look upon.
A typically raunchy and quite deliciously lascivious photograph from Vincenzo Galdi in turn-of-the-century Rome, his model blessed with both exceedingly admirable endowment, and a sultry face to match; all deep dark come-to-bed eyes and pouting parted lips.If you wish to see more of my selected best-beloved photographs, take a moment to look back on the First, Second, Third and Fourth years of this collection.
Employing once more his sumptuous setting of richly coloured, textured fabrics and carpeting, Guglielmo Plüschow selects some incredibly handsome young men as his models, this one of the loveliest faces amongst them, and so confidently elegant in his posing before the camera.
Three men lounge in intimate embrace, in a New Zealand parlour at the turn of the century. Taken by ex-patriate Englishman Robert Gant, who amassed a beautiful and extremely touching catalogue of work between 1885 and 1915, a world of male beauty and affection which resonates so deeply today - a fascinating article can be found here.
Brighton Swimming Club, 1863 (via The Retronaut)
We have had this extraordinary photograph before, but this is a much-improved quality, well worth increasing to full size - and at last we know the circumstances and date of its creation! Look to the curious pose of the fellow fourth from the left, balancing upon one leg.
A photograph full of sensual physicality, the impression of weight, how his body lies heavy, fingers brushed hard against the ground, and the detail of thick hot veins, the dark hairs curling from navel down, though black and white we have no trouble seeing him as a flesh-and-blood man, not some artistically remote figure.
My thanks to Alan for suggesting this stunning photograph by von Gloeden, a simply sublime young man at the peak of his beauty, standing so proud yet so graceful, surrounded by dark leaves and fat pale blooms which fill the frame but only emphasise his own loveliness.
Mikhail Mordkin, Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes dancer, 1922, by Nickolas Muray
I’m pleased to present a couple more photographs of Carlo, a model who may be familiar to those who have followed the progress of this collection for a while - misplaced among my many finds I had neglected to share these last shots from the same set.
One of my most courteous readers has pointed out that an earlier post features none other than the marvellous Tony Sansone, a face I should really have recognised at once! So here is another photograph of this magnificent man, to make up for my omitting his details on the previous occasion. Photographed here in the early 1920s by Edwin Townsend, he is the epitome of male beauty, the unattainable ideal made flesh and blood - his classically handsome face, strong muscle and perfect proportions, and the power tempered by elegance in his graceul pose.