(Naples, 1871 - Rome, December 23, 1961)
There is little information on the life of Vincenzo Galdi. It is known that he was born in Napeles in 1871. Vincenzo started as a model and pupil of photographer Wilhelm von Plüschow while he worked in Naples, then he moved to Rome with him, and eventually he ran a studio of his own in Roma between 1900 circa and 1907, taking photos of naked people (especially women). He was probably one of Plüschow's lovers.
Galdi, along with William von Glœden and Guglielmo Plüschow, produced a large number of erotic photographs, which were popular in Germany, England and North America.
Though Vincenzo did photograph some women, he, primarily, was a photographer of nude boys and men. It is the art of his work and the period of time in which he created these "edgy" images that interests us. The fact is, many of his images were produced into postcards. He also shot some pornographic photographs with boys, that he sold under the counter. They are very rare, nowadays.
In 1890, most photographers were confined to photographing in studios or interiors and very few photographers publicly ventured into the type of photographs, Vincenzo became known for. He also began to photograph "en plein air" or "free light" nudes. This was also an unusual move in 1910.
Vincenzo Galdi was working in imitation of von Glœden but revealed a strong tendency to nearly pornographic images. Although a photographer of genuine accomplishment, he was so preoccupied with the size of the male member that the classical setting and pose often became a mere backdrop for the exposition of the model's penis.
Selling photographs to a "men's only" market and to the kind of men who preferred other men, in 1907, landed Galdi arrested for "insult to the public moral" and "selling excessive audacious photographic studies". He spent time in prison and paid a heavy fine.
After the 1907 scandal and trial that put an end to Plüschow's career, which involved Galdi as well, he abandoned photography. He inaugurated an art gallery in Rome, in Via del Babuino, the "Galleria Galdi", still operating in the 1950s. Rumors about Galdi's death during WW2, circulating in the past, are therefore groundless.
Today, Galdi's photographs and postcard images remain, to a large extent, in the dark, having much of his work destroyed, during World War II and little reliable biographical information is available.
1883 - 1949
(Aci Sant'Antonio, Italy)
D'Agata was an Italian photographer. He worked mainly in Taormina, before the IIWW.
At the beginning of the 20th century he worked as one of the assistants of van Gloeden, in the period of his utmost success. In fact some of D'Agata's pictures were shot in the same garden of van Gloeden's house.
Around the years of the IWW D'Agata nmanaged to open his own photographic studio in Corso Umberto, the main street of Taormina. At first he specialised mainly on landcapes. He soon started also a production of male nudes pictures, but his desire to imitate in a too literal way van Gloeden's art makes of his work a less original and appealing product. Nonetheless, today also his pictures are knowing a big request in the antiquarian market.
D'Agata din't have the cultural and artistic background of his master, therefore in shooting the picture of his models he just tried to imitate the work of van Gloeden, with a clear lack of originality. Nonetheless some of his pictures are anyway good and agreeable.
It is interesyìting to see the various attempts he did to imitate the "Cain" picture of van Gloeden, one of the most requested pictures of his master.
Even though his images are lacking originality, his poses are in a way "weak", on a technical level his work is really without a flaw, revealing his sure skill as a photographer. This is also one of the reasons why his pictures have a good quotation on the antiquarian market.
1841 - 1985
Gaudenzio Marconi was born in Switzerland to parents of Italian origin; he mainly worked in France. Though there is little information about his early life, it is known that Marconi played a significant role in the development of early photography. In the late 1860s, he listed himself in the Paris directory as photographer to the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts and his speciality was the nude which served as studies for artists.
He's known by his artistic photographs of nudes. His photographs were also used by famous artists like Auguste Rodin for their work. His work was often based upon poses that he copied from known sculptures and paintings.
In 1870 he moved to Brussels, Belgium, where he continued his work. He opened the shop and studio business "Photos Marconi des Beaux Arts" at the central and prestigious galleries du Commerce at number 53.