since about Victorian times (roughly 1837 on)
Damn. I had a theory about naked young athletic men romping on the beach - largely that it was a German passion in the late Victorian and Edwardian times. Given Tuke's paintings, I had to go back and add a modification to my original thinking :)Thanks for the linkhttp://melbourneblogger.blogspot.com/2009/11/19th-century-amusement-centres-healthy.html
Tuke has become a Gay icon in this country and I was peripherally involved (though not personally gay) protesting when an exhibition of his remarkable work was banned in Cornwall through protests from Christian groups. I can't think of any other painter like him in Victorian Britain so your theory may still be right.
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