Wilhelm von Gloeden (Private collection)
Saturday, November 23, 2019
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Friday, October 25, 2019
Von Gloeden — Albumen print (detail) — July 1897
"Il Signore Barone was so funny... He spoke Italian with a weird German accent... And instead of "si", he said "ja ja ja"... So funny...
This photo was shot at the San Domenico monastery, in the cloister. Il Barone asked us to undress. The both of us were nude... Actually, at the time, we were used to hang on with our friends totally naked... At the beach, while swimming, while fishing... And sometimes in the mountain as well, at the peak of the heatwave, when we were looking after our fathers goats...
At that time, I did not understand why Il Signore Barone wanted us to be naked... He was telling us about poets, gods and heroes, about Greeks and Romans, about the beauty of youth, about art and painting...
Il Signore Barone was very kind to us... He was generous too, and he offered small gifts, sometimes money for the photo session.
Usually, it took quite a lot of time. Il Barone was checking the light, the background. He was cleaning us when we were a bit dirty and dusty, after working in the mountain or in the fields of olive-trees...
He was fine tuning our poses arms, legs, face, gaze, the way we should stand up, the way we should look at him.
Il Signore Gloeden was a true artist, like a painter, and sometimes like a sculptor, when he touched us to turn our body in the right direction, to have the best view on the small of our backs, on our shoulders, on our chests, on our tighs and legs...
"Don't move, don't breathe ! Bellisimi ragazzi, perfetto, grazie tanto, ja ja ja ja ja !"
I should share with you a little secret.
You probably wonder why I am smiling that way on this photograph...I tried hard to stop a laughter actually...
He saw us. he raised his eyes to heaven and we heard: "Madre Dio Madonna Gesu Paster noster Ave Maria..."
Il Barone waved to him: "Hello hello, Padre, buon giorno !!!"
Il Padre Alberto and il Signore Gloeden were wery good friends, actually... Today, I suspect that Alberto was not totally unconcerned about Gloeden's photographs and the boys of Taormina...
Perhaps Il Signore gave him an albumen print of this photo, shot in the San Domenico's cloister, in july 1897, if I remember correctly...
Von Gloeden Archive, Handwritten diary of G. T. , 1930. Call number: 1930/18
(GT was featured on many Gloeden's photographs. He was one of his favorite models)
Monday, October 14, 2019
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Wilhelm von Gloeden — Albumen original print — Private collection
Les photographies de von Gloeden racontent des histoires. Elles s'inscrivent dans une tradition, dans une mythologie. Elles sont des poèmes visuels, la traduction visuelle des épigrammes de Straton, Méléagre et autres poètes de la Muse garçonnière. Elles disent le désir et la séduction, la beauté et la jeunesse, l'essence des garçons et l'initiation vers l'âge adulte...
Von Gloeden's photographs tell stories. They belong to a tradition, to a mythology. They are visual poems, the visual translation of Strato, Meleager and so many other poets of the Mousa paidiké... They tell stories of desire and seduction, of beauty and youth, the essence of boyhood and initiation towards manhood...
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Wilhelm von Gloeden — Portrait (albumen print) — No number on the reverse.
Qui étais-tu, jeune homme au si beau visage ?
Quel était ton nom, garçon de Taormina ?
Quelle a été ton histoire, ta vie, ton destin ?
Cultivais-tu les oliviers ?
Ou étais-tu un marin, un pêcheur ?
A quoi rêves-tu, avec tes beaux yeux perdus dans le vide ?
Sais-tu qu'aujourd'hui ton visage, ton regard me font rêver ?
La prochaine fois
Que j'irai à Taormina...
Who where you, cute lad with such a beautiful face?
What was your name, boy from Taormina?
What was your story, you life, your fate?
Were you a shepherd in the mountains?
Were you cultivating olive tree?
Or were you a sailor, a fisherman?
What are you dreaming about, with your beautiful eyes lost in the void?
Do you know today your face, your eyes make me dream?
I will remember and think about you
I will go to Taormina
Thursday, September 26, 2019
No number, no stamp, no date on the reverse
Albumen print, private collection.
The portrait I bought from you is now framed and it is on the wall of my bedroom !
It makes me dream... It reminds me so many fond memories of my stay in Taormina, last spring...
Since I attended the photo session, and I remember quite well where and when it took place, I can easily decipher the face expression of your delicious model... Giovanni ? Luigi ? Marco... I am confused...
But I remember... You told him stories... You read poems... Theocritus and Strato's poems, if I am correct...
You told him: "Bellissimo, perfetto, bellissimo ragazzo... Don't move, don't breathe !"
I had the idea of the flower between his lips... "Brilliant idea !" you said...
I love so much this photo, dear Wilhelm... And your model from Taormina too, obviously... He is gorgeous... So classical... He could be a boy from IIId century BC... He is the dreamt ephebe... I just love him... He is my dream, my icon... Please tell him... I am sure he reminds me...
I will try to visit you again next spring...
Wilhelm, your photographic art is the mirror of my heart, of my soul...
Yours, as always
Von Gloeden Archive, Letter from Philip to W. von Gloeden, September 1896. Call number: 1896/35
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Von Gloeden, Portrait of Pasqualino Stracuzzi.
On the back: stamp "W. von Gloeden, Taormina (Sicilia). Proprieta artistisca)
and number "1321" written with a pencil.
"My dear Wilhelm,
Thanks so much for this so beautiful portrait of my favorite Taormina boy, Pasqualino...
He is so beautiful, so expressive, so unique...
Bellissimo ragazzo, molto bello...
There is no beauty without spirituality.
There is no body without a soul.
There is no love without a cult.
I still remember fondly my stay at Taormina, last fall, and my visit at your house.
And I am so grateful for meeting Pasqualino and having some... well... some private and intimate time with him...
I love him. I love him so much. He is just so... Well, you know...
I adore this new portrait of him...
I imagine he is praying: "Please, come back... Come back soon... I miss you..."
Please, Wilhelm, my friend, tell him; I miss him too. I miss him so badly.
I hope to travel to Sicily at the end of spring. When cherry trees are blossoming, as the boys of Taormina...
Please, Wilhelm, my friend, please tell Pasqualino that I will be back soon.
And that my first time in Taormina will be for him...
We will meet again in his so delicious casa, at the top of the village.
I know how to enter the house (and his room !) without being heard or noticed by his parents... I know his father does not know... !
Yours, as always...
Edwin, from Baltimore
Von Gloeden Archive, Letter from Edwin to W. von Gloeden, November 1899. Call number: 1899/27.