Life Drawing London: Inspired the Italian Invention; The Salon.
NB; A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine taste and increase their knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to please or to educate" ("aut delectable aut processes est"). Salons, commonly associated with French literary and philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries, were carried on until quite recently, in urban settings, among like-minded people.
The Salon started in the the16th century which flourished in France throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. In 16th-century Italy, some scintillating circles formed in the smaller courts which resembled salons often galvanized by the presence of a beautiful and educated patroness such as Isabella d'Este or Elisabetta Gonzaga.
L.D.L is instigated by two girls both named Laura.
The nature of these ‘classes’ was really to encourage ourselves to practice the art of drawing. The term class is held loosely because not only is it not a regimented class but rather it tries to encourage people to create whatever they see or think they see for themselves.
Each month we have a theme for the class.
Past themes have included Man Ray, Francesca Woodman, Helmut Newton and Ruth Bernhard, all highly influential photographers of the female nude.
We recreate the poses from the photographs created by the photographers using the relevant props and lighting.
The format of the evening usually involves a slide show of the photographer's work while people arrive and enjoy a complimentary drink, followed by a short documentary about the photographer. Then everyone finds a place gets given their materials and the poses begin, we usually start with a few short poses to get everyone going.
The theme for this one: Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden
Baron Wilhelm 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.
Famous in his own day, his work was subsequently eclipsed for close to a century, only to re-emerge in recent times as "the most important gay visual artist of the pre–World War I era" according to Thomas Waugh.
More explicit photos in which boys aged between about ten and twenty, and occasionally older men, were nude (sometimes with prominent genitalia) and which, because of eye contact or physical contact were more sexually suggestive, were traded "under the counter" and among close friends of the Baron, but "as far as is known, Gloeden's archive contained neither pornographic nor erotically lascivious motifs".
The popularity of his work, especially in Germany, England, and America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries can possibly be attributed to three major reasons:
▪ The Classical and painterly themes in which his work wreathed itself served as a cultural "badge of protection" and the studies were often described in exhibition reviews as models for painters  and were used by ethnologists to illustrate racial types.
▪ At that time male-male love was unthinkable to many who saw his images.
▪ New printing technologies enabled the mass reproduction and sale of his work in postcard form from 1900 by reputable publishers.
His work brought him visitors from Europe, including royalty, industrialists, writers (Oscar Wilde in December 1897) and artists.