12. Masculinity

The Past Generations of Artists Who Portrayed Male Sensitivity

by Pol Conill


I discovered a picture by Wilhelm von Gloeden that showed a young boy who sits nude on a rock, with his arms wrapped around his legs and his head resting on his knees, eyes closed. 


After this, I started discovering several reinterpretations of the same picture, until I find out that the original image was a painting by Hippolyte Flandrin, and that it had been reproduced by a lot of artists during the past two centuries, becoming an icon of homosexual culture. 


I realised how important a simple image like this can be, and it made me think of artists who had been portraying men from a different point of view for decades; instead of showing them as though and impassive they showed them as fragile and sensitive.