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Wilhelm von Gloeden

Wilhelm von Gloeden

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Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden was a German photographer known for his erotic images of adolescent boys. Often featuring subjects wearing togas and headdresses in staged poses, his works were inspired by Classical Greek and Roman art, as well as mythology. Though his work was considered controversial during his life and many of his glass plate negatives were destroyed in acts of censorship, his surviving nude studies have been admired by contemporary artists and critics for their sensuous beauty. He also created widely reproduced landscape photography that helped launch the modern tourism industry to Italy. Born on September 16, 1856 in Wismar, Germany, von Gloeden studied art history in Rostock and painting in Weimar before moving to Sicily due to ill health in the late 1870s. He opened his own studio, and received public acclaim for his work after exhibiting internationally, publishing the first of his photobooks in 1893. He died on February 16, 1931 in Taormina, Italy at the age of 74.