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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Gerhard Riebicke, Part 2 - Non-nudes


Starting off the G-rated half of Riebicke day with a 
semi-nude reaching for a medicine ball.

One might be tempted to caption this one "jump for joy,"
but the poor guy looks terrified.

My old tumblr blog had a tag called "men with balls," and several Riebicke photos appeared there.  
I didn't even know some of them were his at the time, btw.

This pre-Nazi swimmer in his onesie is quite fetching and a relatively 
rare example of a Riebicke athletic model who is not outdoors.

I've often wondered why Riebicke bothered with making posing strap photos 
when full on nudity was well tolerated in Germany.

Gerhard Riebicke, Part 1 - Nudes in Nature


Gerhard Riebicke (1878-1957) was a German photographer who is best remembered for his photos of athletes, dancers, and naturists.  Nudity was a frequent element of his work, but not always present, as we will see later today.  Most of Riebicke's archive was unfortunately lost during World War II, not to the depredations of the Nazis, but to a British air raid on Berlin.  (The Nazis seem to have tolerated and/or ignored him.)  We begin with the first of two photos posted today of a lithe young man.

This is perhaps my favorite Riebicke photo, and it exemplifies 
a lot of the early 20th Century German Nature genre of photography.

Riebicke's best known style combined nature, sports, 
and nudity as in this photo of a man with a medicine ball.

Riebicke was fond of staging photos outdoors with models in a variety of "human construction" arrangements.  Today's Bum Brigade Special is a typical example.


Here is another pose by the same Riebicke model whose photo opened today's series.
I have a number of pictures from the same session, and may post more later.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Kris Studio/Chuck Renslow - the Lesser Known Models


For our Saturday series, I'm posting some photos by Chuck Renslow of Kris Studio
 of some of his less well known models.  We start with Glen Reich, whose tattoos 
couldn't go unmentioned by Mr. Renslow who referred to them as "flesh art."
Used by kind permission of the Leather Archives and Museum, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Marty Shimkus (and his low hangers) posed for Chuck Renslow/Kris in 1964, a time when the photographer was successfully challenging legal limits on male nude photography.
Used by kind permission of the Leather Archives and Museum, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Jock Valjean appears to be lightly oiled in the Kris derriere photo.
Used by kind permission of the Leather Archives and Museum, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Jimmy Martin posed for Renslow in this relatively rare color Kris photo.
I only have about a dozen examples of color in my collection of almost 300 from that studio.
Used by kind permission of the Leather Archives and Museum, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Stan Ellin seems to be putting his best *ahem* "foot" forward in this Kris photo.  
Chuck Renslow used this pose several times during his career to impressive effect.  
Side note:  I wonder if they ever called this guy "Moose?"
Used by kind permission of the Leather Archives and Museum, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Frederick Leighton


Lord Frederick Leighton (1830-1896) was a very talented English painter and sculptor who was known for his depictions of historical, Classical, and religious figures and events.  Leighton held what was perhaps the shortest life peerage in history, having died the day after he was made Lord Leighton.  Today I will feature his drawings and paintings, with sculptures to come in a later series.

This is an individual panel (Dancing Athlete with Olive Branch) from an 
extensive Leighton work called "Dance of the Cymbalist."

Frederick Leighton drew this older model when he was a young man in the early 1850's.

There don't seem to be any full on frontal male nude color paintings by Leighton,
so this fig leaf number will have to do.  I think this is a detail from a larger fresco.

Leighton drew this reclining male nude in 1848 at age 18.  He studied in Italy around that time.

This rather well done Leighton color piece is just a study for a painting for which I can't find a finished version.  It shows a remarkable talent for depicting a "typical" man's body.


As both a painter and sculptor, Leighton used drawings to work from for his sculptures and roughly sculpted pieces as models for his paintings and drawings.  I'll use some of those in a future series on his statues.  And no, I don't know how this piece fits into all that.  I just like it.

Odd Bits of 19th Century Photography


Before moving on to our Friday Art Lesson, I'm doing a series of 19th C. photos that have me puzzled for various reasons.  We start with this 1861 piece from Atelier Vidal titled "Portrait of Joseph Delmas in the Costume of Adam."  Why didn't they just say "Joseph Delmas Nude?"

Edmond Lebel took this photo in 1874, and that fact is documented in several places.  What mystifies me is the fact that, despite this excellent example, I can find no other nude photos by Lebel.  There are lots of clothed photos of sexy men by him, but no more nudes as far as I can tell.

At first glance, I though this was a medical demonstration of some sort, but I'm not so sure.
The clothed guy is definitely doing something to the nude's foot.

I can't quite figure out the disapproving look this man is sending off to his left, and the picture came with no info at all.  The tonsorial style and technical level of this photo make me think "pre-1860."

This came from Mr. Scumbeast with a note that only said "experimenting in the studio." 
No indication as to whose studio or where, but I find it interesting.