Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden (September 16, 1856 – February 16, 1931) 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 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 (a mixture of milk, olive oil, and glycerin) to disguise skin blemishes.

Wilhelm von Gloeden's background is something of a mystery. Although Gloeden alleged he was a minor German aristocrat from Mecklenburg, the heirs of the baronial branch of the Gloeden family have always insisted that no such person existed in their family records and that his claim to a barony was without warrant; the barony became extinct in 1885 with the death of Baron Falko von Gloeden. [ citation needed ]

It is believed he was the son of head forester Carl Hermann Gloeden (1820–1862) and his wife Charlotte Maassen (1824–1901; from 1864 Charlotte von Hammerstein). [ citation needed ]

From: GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies
Volume 12, Number 2, 2006
pp. 237-258

The Golden Age of Gay Porn": Nostalgia and the Photography of Wilhelm von Gloeden Jason Goldman (bio) My memoirs are not for historians. They can be of interest only to voluptuaries and artists.

When the French novelist Roger Peyrefitte wrote these words in 1949, he was not writing as himself or one of his invented characters but as the largely forgotten nineteenth-century photographer Wilhelm von Gloeden. The "memoirs" in question assume von Gloeden's voice but were composed by Peyrefitte and published as the dramatized autobiography Les amours singuliers nearly two decades after the photographer's death. Moving between factual account and poetic embellishment, the narrative describes a libertine artist who deeply admires his boyish models and thrills at providing homoerotic pictures to a lustful clientele.

Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden (September 16, 1856 – February 16, 1931) 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 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 (a mixture of milk, olive oil, and glycerin) to disguise skin blemishes.

Wilhelm von Gloeden's background is something of a mystery. Although Gloeden alleged he was a minor German aristocrat from Mecklenburg, the heirs of the baronial branch of the Gloeden family have always insisted that no such person existed in their family records and that his claim to a barony was without warrant; the barony became extinct in 1885 with the death of Baron Falko von Gloeden. [ citation needed ]

It is believed he was the son of head forester Carl Hermann Gloeden (1820–1862) and his wife Charlotte Maassen (1824–1901; from 1864 Charlotte von Hammerstein). [ citation needed ]


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