Published as a postcard circa 1910, this sandalled strongman leaves nothing to chance in protecting his modesty, and wears a large paper leaf, thoroughly secured with plenty of string!
The magnificent Eugen Sandow, photographed here in 1894 by George Steckel, his physique looking every bit as impressive to a modern eye as it would have to his contemporaries.
Early body-builder Otto Olympier proudly displays the astonishing muscle in his flexed arm, in this postcard from the 1910s. We’ve seen him pose (almost) nude to show off his phyisque before, here.
An early 20th century photograph, striking in its simplicity with an unfussy, unpretentious pose, and no studio props to distract the eye and detract from the fine physique and charming handsome face of this unknown model.
The printed inscription on this magnificent man’s photograph looked familiar, on investigation I found I have another from the same photographer, one K. Pospishil of Bohemia.
A further photograph of the magnificently muscular body builder Eugen Sandow, by Napoleon Sarony of New York.
An uncommon departure from the usual style for Wilhelm von Gloeden; we see very few studio-set photography sessions in his work, and even fewer poses intended to emphasise the size and definition of models’ muscles, as here. This man, with his fine moustache, can also be seen in this similar picture, and in stunning detail as the snake charmer.
An impressive display of strength and balance, here, as this muscular man performs a handstand for the camera - not the first time I’ve shared shots of this uncommon but immediately eye-catching inverted pose.
Sarony, Napoleon, 1821-1896, photographer. Bodybuilder Eugen Sandow as the Farnese Hercules. New York, 1893.
TCS 1 Houghton Library, Harvard University
A very welcome addition to my small collection of photographs showing Eugen Sandow, and such extremely thorough credits are a delight to see!
Standing nude portrait of Mr. E.H. Garland by S.P. Andrew Ltd of Wellington in 1916. National Library of New Zealand
A fascinating picture from the 1910s, three well-muscled young men photographed outdoors in an intriguing pose - what scene they’re depicting, or what story trying to tell, I admit I have no idea!
Showing off his impressive physique in the photographer’s studio, this strapping chap seems to have been given a little discreet editing before printing; he’s distinctly blurry around the edges of that little fig leaf!
The impressively muscular Otto Olympier, his picture taken by an uncredited photographer and published as a postcard. Not intended to be sent home from a holiday as we mostly use them today, but for those who collected the cards as a hobby; images of strongmen and bodybuilders seem to have been a popular subject, judging by the amount which have survived to this day.
It has been an awfully long time since I shared a photograph of Ange Camilli, 1st prize winner in an early physical beauty contest (later to become the body building still with us today). Published - sadly all censored - as a set of postcards circa 1920, by Alfred Noyer of Paris.
This reclining strongman’s sturdy masculinity is a little at odds with the dainty little filigree fig-leaf!
As always, I appealed to those of you who could read the title on this photograph, and was astonished to receive such quick reply; my thanks to the kind readers who told me K. Pospishil (Bohemia)