Elisar von Kupffer (19-2-1872 in Tallinn, Estonia – 1942) was a Baltic German artist, anthologist, poet, historian, translator, and playwright.
He used the pseudonym 'Elisarion' for much of his writing. He studied at St. Petersburg and then Berlin. After travels in Italy from 1902 to 1915, he established himself as a fine-art painter and muralist in Locarno, Switzerland, with his partner the historian and philosopher Eduard von Mayer (1873-1960). From 1925 to 1929 they transformed their Minusio villa (at the Lake Maggiore) into an opulent collection of art, the 'Sanctuarium Artis Elisarion'.
From 1981 this has been a Museum dedicated to von Kupffer's work. The couple were at the heart of a religious movement called the Klarismus (in English: 'Clarity'). In 1899/1900 Adolf Brand published von Kupffer's influential anthology of homoerotic literature, Lieblingminne und Freundesliebe in der Weltliteratur in Berlin. The anthology was reprinted in 1995. The anthology was researched and created, in part, as a protest against the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in England.
Other publications include: the 1900 Irrlichter (the three stage plays Andrei, Erich and Narkissos); a 1908 book on Sodoma, the Renaissance artist; a 1912 stage play Aino und Tio; and the 1912 volume of poems Hymnen der Heiligen Burg. His work was also published and reviewed in the gay magazine Akademos published by Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen.
He was also a photographer, making photographic studies of boys for use in the creation of his paintings, but more often his own rejuvenated form can be seen as a subject of his art works.