A much-appreciated donation from generous reader Yanni, here Maurice Deriaz poses in the studio of French artist Gustave-Claude-Étienne Courtois, who painted him in 1907, 1912 and 1913. He made a magnificent model for these works, his performances and impressive physique bringing him fame across Europe, displaying feats of strength and gymnastic skill, and becoming a champion Greco-Roman wrestler. Further details of both painter and sitter can be found here, as well as the three paintings which resulted from the modelling sessions captured above.
"At restaurants I began to use the men’s rooms. This was perhaps the hardest adjustment. I was scandalized by the filth of men’s rooms, the rank smells and pig sounds, the grunting and huffing from the stalls. Urine was forever puddled on the floors. Scraps of soiled toilet paper adhered to the commodes. When you entered a stall, more often than not a plumbing emergency greeted you, a brown tide, a soup of dead frogs. To think that a toilet stall had once been a haven for me! That was all over now. I could see at once that men’s rooms, unlike the ladies’, provided no comfort. Often there wasn’t even a mirror, or any hand soap. And while the closeted, flatulent men showed no shame, at the urinals men acted nervous. They looked straight ahead like horses with blinders.
"I understood at those times what I was leaving behind: the solidarity of a shared biology. Women know what it means to have a body. They understand its difficulties and frailties, its glories and pleasures. Men think their bodies are theirs alone. They tend them in private, even in public."
- Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides