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.
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!
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!
A captivating close-up portrait of Pietro by von Gloeden, taken in 1890s Taormina, Sicily.
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!
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!
Another completely captivating 1890s portrait by von Gloeden; a beautiful Sicilian man with dark-smudged deep-set eyes and a noble profile, a garland of entwined flowers and ivy leaves about his hair.
In the garden of von Gloeden’s own villa above Taormina, toward the end of the 19th century; one model strikes a pose while the other seems preoccupied with the flowers!
A postcard from the 1910s, published by the firm Galifi, and featuring a photograph by Wilhelm von Gloeden taken in the 1890s. The model on the right is Pascquale Stracuzzi, I regret I cannot recognise his companion from behind!
The model on the left is surely the most eyecatching in this scene captured by Wilhelm von Gloeden, stunning looks and a magnificent physique, the translucent fabric slung loose and low below his waist tantalising the admiring eye rather than an overly modest cover-up! The model in the centre does much to match the allure of the first…but the sidetracked chap on the right really could try harder!