Von Gloeden, Taormina e il Mediterraneo
Del Carmine ex-church, from December 4th 2019 to January 15th 2020
curated by Luca Beatrice and Willy Montini
Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday: 10.00am – 2.00pm and 3.00pm – 7.00pm
Saturday/Sunday: 10.00am – 7.00pm
A photo exhibition of some of the most beautiful photographs taken by baron Whilelm Von Gloeden who spent in Taormina most of his life and, thanks to his work, made our town worlwide famous.
The exhibition – by displaying more than twenty original photographs now belonging to the artist Bruno Di Bello – aims to show the artistic evolution of the photographer, detailing his journey from the first nudes to the last portraits.
ABOUT WHILELM VON GLOEDEN
Wilhelm Iwan Friederich August Freiherr von Gloeden (September 16, 1856 – February 16, 1931) was a German photographer who worked mainly in Italy. He is mostly known for his pastoral nude studies of Sicilian boys, which usually featured props such as wreaths or amphoras suggesting a setting in the Greece or Italy of antiquity. From a modern standpoint, his work is commendable due to his controlled use of lighting as well as the often elegant poses of his models. His innovations include the use of photographic filters and special body makeup (a mixture of milk, olive oil, and glycerin) to disguise skin blemishes.
After studying art history in Rostock (1876), Gloeden studied painting under Karl Gehrts [de] at the Weimar Saxon-Grand Ducal Art School (1876–77) until he was forced by lung disease (apparently tuberculosis) to interrupt his studies for a year, convalescing at a sanatorium in the Baltic Sea resort of Görbersdorf. In a search for health, he travelled to Italy (1877–78), first staying in Naples before moving on to Taormina in Sicily. He lodged at the Hotel Vittoria before buying a house near San Domenico Convent. Apart from the period 1915-18, during the First World War, when he was forced to leave Sicily to avoid internment as an enemy alien, he remained in Taormina until his death in 1931.
The mayor of Taormina in 1872-82 was the German landscape painter Otto Geleng [de] (1843–1939), who had moved there in 1863. Through him, Gloeden became acquainted with the local inhabitants. He set up his photographic studio in Taormina at first as a hobby and was exhibiting his work internationally by 1893 (London), including Cairo (1897), Berlin (1898–99, including a solo exhibition), Philadelphia (1902), Budapest & Marseilles (1903), Nice (1903 & 1905), Riga (1905), Dresden (1909) and Rome (World Fair 1911).
Where to stay