Gerhard Riebicke was a German artist best known for his nude photographs of people engaged in sporting activities. His black-and-white photographs highlighted the many ways in which the body could move through images of men and women dancing, wrestling, and running. Yet above all, the artist’s work idealized health and beauty in post-industrial Europe by showcasing romanticized images of graceful women and muscular men. Born on February 6, 1878 in Lausitz, Germany, Riebicke spent much of his childhood in Switzerland, and later studied at the University of Tübingen.

After completing his studies, Riebicke temporarily worked as a press photographer in Berlin until abandoning his career in journalism to pursue art. His close friend the teacher Adolf Koch later invited Riebecke to work at the School for Education and Nudism, where he took many of his most well-known photographs.

Throughout the Nazi regime, Riebicke’s worked primarily in sports photography and was featured in several contemporary publications, but he was ultimately a target of censorship by the Third Reich. Riebicke died in 1957 in Berlin, Germany. His work is held in the collections of the Bodo Niemann Gallery in Berlin.

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