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Unveiling the male nude

by Yvette Depaepe

The beauty of the human body has been celebrated through sculpture, painting and drawing for thousands of years. During the past century, fine art nude photography took over this tradition. Artistic nude photographs can evoke a wide range of moods through lighting, posing and context.


Hercules” by Bruno Birkhofer


However, the choice of the gender has been a huge issue in the world of photography. The vast majority of work featuring the nude focuses on female subjects. Probably 95% or more of all nude photographs are showing the female figure. Why?

One answer involves simply demographics. Traditionally, photography has been both a business and a hobby carried out by men, however this has been changing a lot in recent years. A heterosexual man interested in photographing nudes will probably be drawn to the female form, given the inherent beauty and aesthetic ideal that most man find within the forms of the female body.

Another explanation had been offered by some feminist critics who argue that the predominance of nude female images represent men's continuing power over women.

Homosexuality has long been a stigma , however happily this has also changed. For some time, a man who sought out nude male models ran the risk of being perceived as homosexual even if his interest was purely aesthetic. 

Expressions of male photography emerged during the first half of the 20th century.
John Palatinus 
passed away in 2014 and is considered as one of the pioneers in male nude photography. He was one of the first photographers who took photos of naked men who were also sold in the USA despite the legal ban.

In many of his photographs he is not only expressing the inherent beauty of the male nude but also shows the vulnerability and sometimes the loneliness of man and the child that is hidden in each man.

Nowadays, male nudes are no longer taboo. It doesn't matter anymore if the photographer is heterosexual or homosexual. Photographies of both genders are considered as Fine Art Nudes.

I was delighted to discover next to superb artistic female nudes a fair amount of splendid unveiling male nude photographs in the 1x gallery.

Discover them by yourself through this compilation of exceptional images by talented 1x photographers.


"Spirited Away" by William Ye



"Under skin III" by DDiArte



Light Ahead II” by DDiArte


Male Nude” by Willy Marthinussen



The Abyss of Loneliness” by Leszek Paradowski



Tough Guy” by Leszek Paradowski



Return to Nature” by Leszek Paradowski



...” by Jaap de Jonge



...” by Jaap de Jonge



...” by Jaap de Jonge



Hands series” by J Thomas Simpson



Male Nude 1” by Pavel Sorokin



"Nude 2” by Pavel Sorokin




Muscle” by Michael Angelo Phang



Paint Without Colors” by John Simpson



Statues Series” by John Simpson



Gravity” by John Simpson



BowTie” by Edith Hoffman



"Climbing god” by Andrea Tomassetti



Building alliances” by Ketil Born



It's my job to make it go round” by Jörg Heidenberger



Cube 56” by Jörg Heidenberger


Kudos to the photographers selected here; truly beautiful imagery. I'm always a little tickled that the "ratio" remains so skewed towards female nudes, including at 1x. I wonder too if it will gradually continue to change, as we see an ever increasing pressure placed on men, particularly growing in everyday media, advertising & entertainment, to look great, to be splendidly fit, invest in excellent skincare, etc. (Some would rightly say, this male pressure barely begins to catch up to the pressures women have been subjected to for so long.) Not that I'm supporting the rampant, often dangerous "media pressures" for either sex, but it seems like more men are, as a broad generality, becoming far more attuned to and focused on their looks and physique than may have been the general case in decades past. Regardless of these social pressures or changes, a splendid fine art nude is a marvel of an image, given that we are such amazing marvels of nature; whether male or female, ranging from blatant and slightly sexually charged, to stunningly-lit abstractions of pure line and shape... I'm glad to see a group of 1x photographers addressing the imbalance!
Great article, Yvette. Congrats
what a won..., wond.... wonde... arrgghhhhh..., /&%$%$#"..., incredible, the word just can´t come out of my mouth..., why can´t i say it...? haha :) ok..., only kidding and of course it will look good if I say it just beacuse I belong to the team. So, with some team spirit I trully congratulate you, Yvette, for the idea and the work. cheers
p.s.: I didn´t said it..., did I...? ok, then..., it´s all good here :)
;-) Thank you for your incredible enthusiasm, Paulo. Of course, your reaction is not due to the fact that you belong to the team because nobody knew I was working on it!!!
Suely I'm not the only man to appreciate these wonderful photos or is there still a kind of taboo linked to the male form?
I am also surprised about it! I think you should have an open mind about it and appreciate all kinds of art :-))
Thanks for your appreciation and your comment, dear friend. The 1x community is open minded. I wish more people should write down their feedback like Edith and you did ;-) Cheers, Yvette
Wonderful article about nude male Yvette and wonderful images too. It's true what you write and I come across this many times. It's also not very easy to find male models to pose for a female photographer. Hopefully I will find more models to pose for me in the latest project of mine and I think with nudes the human being is really her/himself without the mask of protection. You see the emotions and vulnerability. Looking forward to Susanne's post. Have a great rest of the week and take care! Cheers, Edith :-)))
Thanks again Yvette for including my image too and I am really happy about it. xx
I have to thank all of the fantastic photographers and to you, Edith! It was inspiring and enriching to write something about male nudes and a real pleasure to discover these outstanding photos. I wish you success in your search for more male models. May be they feel it like one more little barrier to cross because you are a woman ;-).Best greetings, Yvette xx
It's a pity that the taboo is still there and people are scared to talk about it. Wow, I thought we were living in modern time and that everything is open to discuss. It looks that I was wrong about it. Enjoy your weekend dear Yvette and take care :-))) xxx
Excellent introduction to the male nude theme!
Thanks, Susanne! Looking forward to publish your review on this topic. It was great working with you on this theme. Cheers, Yvette