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Vintage physique photo Karoll of Havana

Karoll of Havana Vintage Physique Photo: Bodybuilder with Scimitar


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Powerful image of an unidentified bodybuilder wielding a scimitar. 

Silver gelatin print on heavyweight paper c. 1950s.

5" x 7" with studio stamp.

In very good condition but please note the spot about half-way up the sword.


About Karoll of Havana 

Karoll (aka Luis Cuento) was a traditional society photographer working in Havana during the time of Battista (1940-1958). But he had another, private interest― the male nude― which found expression in his photographs of bodybuilders from a Havana gym.

These physique photographs were never published and only recently exhibited for the first time in a Paris gallery. We’ve been told they were hidden from the authorities by Karoll’s grandmother and smuggled out of Cuba.

Clearly influenced by the films of Hollywood and other physique photographers in the U.S. and Europe, Karoll’s work has an aesthetic and a campy sense of humor that are all his own.

Karoll died in 1979.