When we think of gay artists, and their work, we think of Andy Warhol, David Hockney and of course, Tom of Finland – but there was pioneer before his erotic illustrations that according to NNN, inspired his work.

Though Tom of Finland has come to be known for his black and white sketches of beefy blokes fornicating in leather harnesses, but George Quaintance was the “”Master Painter of the Male Physique”, who painted colourful depictions of nude males relaxing in bathhouses and cowboy countrysides.

New Now Next reports, “Quaintance was born in 1902, and was active in the art scene from the 1930s to his death in 1957, around the time Tom of Finland started taking off.” 

In a book about his work, Quaintance is described as, “a vaudeville dancer, a coiffeur designer, window dresser, magazine cover artist, photographer, portraitist, and ultimately the first great physique artist. George Quaintance, the Master Painter of the Male Physique, was out in an age when out was not only risky, but largely illegal…”