Wilhelm von Gloeden

Sketch of Wilhelm von Gloeden by Pacifico Palumbo
Wilhelm von Gloeden

Wilhelm von Gloeden was born on September 16, 1856. He was a German photographer who worked mainly in Italy. He is mostly known for his pastoral nude studies of Sicilian boys, which usually featured props such as wreaths or amphoras, (large Greek vases with a large oval body narrow cylindrical neck and two handles that rise level of the mouth) suggesting a setting in the Greece or Italy of antiquity.

From a modern standpoint, his work is commendable due to his controlled use of lighting as well as the often elegant poses of his models. His innovations include the use of photographic filters and special body makeup to disguise skin blemishes.

In 1895, when his family fortune was lost, he received a gift of a "Swerinch", a large-format camera, from his friend and patron the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg. In 1897 his work brought him visitors from Europe including royalty and industrialists such as Oscar Wilde, artist Maxfield Parrish, Mr. & Mrs. Alexander Graham Bell, to name just a few. In December 1897 he was visited by numerous artists. After returning to Italy he photographed very little but continued to make new prints from his voluminous archived.

He died in 1931 in Taormina.

You can buy my paintings of Wilhelm von Gloeden photos, as well as drawings I made of Wilhelm von Gloeden's photos, as well.

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