Friday, July 19, 2013

classical greek and roman photography

Yesterday I talked about the explosion of war statuary after the civil war, but there was another expression of male homage that swept the country at that time as well. Photography had become more accessible and artistic by the late 1860's and a crop of prominent photographers sprang up. They were almost all male with same-sex desires. Like I said yesterday, with the end of the war came a new interest in maleness and all things masculine, especially in the physical sense. Even though the churches had effectively repressed images of  classical Greek and Roman nudity in art for centuries the times were changing and these photographers revived it through photography. 1870's art critic John Addington Symonds associated  the male nudes of Michelangelo and De Vinci with same-sex desire in his writings. And Remember there was a lot of discussion going on, in intellectual circles, at this time about same-sex desire. The very words ''Homosexual'' and the nearly forgotten today ''Uranian'' were coined during this period as well. So, within certain circles there was a level of  interest in homoerotic art/imagery. Some of these photographers photographed nude men of color to add race to the discussion.


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