Austrian photographer Paul Schneggenburger’s fascinating body of work The Sleep of the Beloved has broken through closed bedroom doors to illuminate one of the most private and intimate of human interactions: sleeping couples.

Sitting permanently in the photographer’s studio is a bed where couples are invited to come and spend the night. Schneggenburger simply sets the stage, lights some candles, and leaves the room with his camera set to long exposure capturing all the movements of the couples over a six-hour period from midnight to 6am. The resulting photographs are a beautiful blur of tangled bodies and ghostly movements demonstrating how sleeping can often be an unconsciously intimate act of love and affection or a quite static experience designed only for resting and rejuvenation.

As the photographer asks: “What happens to lovers while they are sleeping? Is it a nocturnal lovers’ dance, maybe a kind of unaware performed tenderness, or does one turn their back on each other?” Check out some of the photographs below and head over to Schneggenburger’s website to see more of these gorgeous and fascinating images.

Via CNN World.


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