Life is imitating art in Vienna where a special showing of images of naked men has attracted around 250 nudists.
Naked apart from their boots and cameras, visitors of various ages from as far afield as Australia and Brazil hotfooted it to the Leopold Museum to see representations of the male form from 1880 to the present.
The exhibition, which has been extended until March 4, is designed to show the diverse and changing depictions of male
nudity in art history.
Among its exhibits is a grotesque self-portrait by Egon Schiele and a photograph by French artists Pierre & Gilles called “Vive La France” of three men of different races wearing nothing but blue, white and red socks and soccer boots.
Outrage from parents and religious groups in October forced the Leopold to cover up the private parts of the three nude male soccer players used on large publicity posters around Vienna. But “Naked Men” helped boost visitor numbers at the museum by 17 percent to more than 364,000 last year.
“It is good to be free, I am seeing this exhibition for the second time now and it is perfect to see ‘Naked Men’ as a naked man,” said one of the nudist visitors who called himself Max and who on his previous visit wore his clothes.
The museum – named for Austrian collector Rudolf Leopold – was inspired to invite the public to get naked to see the exhibition after an inquiry from a group of German nudists.