Guglielmo Plüschow

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Wilhelm von Plüschow portrayed by his cousin Wilhelm von Gloeden (c. 1890)

Guglielmo Plüschow (born Wilhelm Plüschow; August 18, 1852 – January 3, 1930), was a German photographer who moved to Italy and became known for his nude photos of local youths, predominantly males. Plüschow was a cousin of Wilhelm von Gloeden, who, despite taking up nude photography later than Plüschow, soon overshadowed him. Plüschow was several times at odds with the law and charged with corruption of minors. Today, his photography is recognized for its artistic merits, even though it is generally considered somewhat inferior to Gloeden's on account of his less graceful handling of lighting and the sometimes strangely stilted poses of his models.


Male Nude Seated on Leopard Skin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, ca. 1890s–1900s
Wilhelm von Pluschow – Vincenzo Galdi, Posillipo (Napoli), c. 1890

Not much is known about Plüschow's early life, except that he was born in Wismar as the eldest of seven brothers and sisters. His father Friedrich Carl Eduard Plüschow was an illegitimate child of Frederick Louis, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and the family home was Schloss Plüschow.

In the early 1870s, he moved to Rome and changed his first name from "Wilhelm" to its Italian equivalent "Guglielmo". Initially making a living as a wine merchant, he soon turned to male and female nude photography. Later he also worked in Naples.

One of Plüschow's more famous models was Vincenzo Galdi (pictured left), who was probably one of Plüschow's lovers.[citation needed] Galdi later became a photographer in his own right, as well as an art gallery owner.

In 1902, Plüschow, who was gay like Gloeden,[1] was charged with "common procuration" and "seduction of minors" and had to spend eight months in jail. Another scandal followed in 1907, and, in 1910, Plüschow left Italy for good and returned to Berlin. [2]

In popular culture[edit]

In Steve Berman's short story "The Haferbräutigam" Plüschow has an encounter with a mischievous spirit while travelling back to Wismar in 1907.



  1. ^ Russel, Bruce (Spring 1983), "Wilhelm von Gloeden, Wilhelm von Plüschow. Two photo essays. I Von Plüschow: toward a definition of his canon", Visual communication, 9 (2), pp. 57–59, 65–71
  2. ^ Dore, Tommaso (2012). Galdi revealed. The eclecticism of Vincenzo Galdi, photographer and art dealer. Italus Edizioni. p. 22.


  • Bernhard Albers (ed.), Galdi / Gloeden / Plüschow. Aktaufnahmen aus der Sammlung Uwe Scheid, Rimbaud Presse, Aachen 1993
  • Et in Arcadia ego. Fotografien von Wilhelm von Gloeden, Guglielmo Plüschow und Vincenzo Galdi, Edition Oehrli, Zurich 2000
  • Volker Janssen (ed.), Wilhelm von Gloeden, Wilhelm von Plüschow, Vincenzo Galdi: Italienische Jünglings-Photographien um 1900, Janssen Verlag, Berlin 1991
  • Marina Miraglia, Guglielmo Plüschow alla ricerca del bello ideale, in: "AFT (Archivio Fotografico Toscano)", IV 7, luglio 1988, pp. 62–67
  • Ulrich Pohlmann, Wer war Guglielmo Plüschow?, "Fotogeschichte", n. 29, VIII 1988, pp. 33–38.
  • Uwe Scheid, Il vero nudo: Aktstudien von Guglielmo Plüschow, "Fotogeschichte" n. 29, VIII 1988, pp. 9–21.
  • Peter Weiermair, Guglielmo Plüschow, Taschen verlag, Köln 1994 ISBN 3-8228-9042-1
  • Winckelmann (pseud.), A rediscovered boy-photographer. Guglielmo Plüschow (1852-1930), "Gayme" n. III 1, 1996, pp. 22–30.

External links[edit]