Photography

Day, Fred Holland (1864 - 1933)

A wealthy and eccentric philanthropist, Fred Holland Day passionately published small editions of literature by the likes of such authors as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Oscar Wilde. Taking on photography from the mid-1880s, he decided to undertake a remarkable project: a series depicting scenes of the life of Christ, played by the photographer himself who starved himself, let his beard grow and imported cloth and a cross from Syria for the enterprise. Influenced by the Symbolist movement, Fred Holland Day’s images transformed sacred and historical subjects into mythical and surreal sceneries. From his religious self-portraits to the male nudes clad in flower children-like robes, the American photographer’s artistic choices were seen as strongly controversial. Long before Andres Serrano’s provocative Piss Christ, it is his ethereal Pre-Raphaelite religious interpretations of the self that provoked accusations of immorality.

Tags / Fred Holland Day - American Photographer - Pictorialism - Religion - Scandal - 1890s
Fred Holland Day, An Ethiopian Chief, 1896 (printed in 1905)
Fred Holland Day, An Ethiopian Chief, 1896 (printed in 1905)
Fred Holland Day, Armageddon, 1900
Fred Holland Day, Armageddon, 1900
Fred Holland Day, Beatrice & Ruth Baxter Ruyl, 1906
Fred Holland Day, Beatrice & Ruth Baxter Ruyl, 1906
Fred Holland Day, Beauty is Truth, 1898
Fred Holland Day, Beauty is Truth, 1898
Fred Holland Day, Ebony and Ivory, 1897
Fred Holland Day, Ebony and Ivory, 1897
Fred Holland Day, Girl in Dress with White Collar, 1905
Fred Holland Day, Girl in Dress with White Collar, 1905
Fred Holland Day, Maynard White, date unknown
Fred Holland Day, Maynard White, date unknown
Fred Holland Day, Maynard White, Little Good Harbor, Maine, 1912
Fred Holland Day, Maynard White, Little Good Harbor, Maine, 1912
Fred Holland Day, Menelek, date unknown
Fred Holland Day, Menelek, date unknown
Fred Holland Day, Pilate, 1906
Fred Holland Day, Pilate, 1906
Fred Holland Day, Portrait of Edward Carpenter, the early gay rights activist, date unknown
Fred Holland Day, Portrait of Edward Carpenter, the early gay rights activist, date unknown
Fred Holland Day, Self-portrait, 1910
Fred Holland Day, Self-portrait, 1910
Fred Holland Day, The Clarence White Family, Georgetown, Maine, 1910
Fred Holland Day, The Clarence White Family, Georgetown, Maine, 1910
Fred Holland Day, The God Child, 1905
Fred Holland Day, The God Child, 1905
Fred Holland Day, The Seven Words, 1898
Fred Holland Day, The Seven Words, 1898
Fred Holland Day, Youth Sitting on a Stone, 1907
Fred Holland Day, Youth Sitting on a Stone, 1907
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