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Author Topic: Was Michelangelo gay?
Candy Q. of Chickentown
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Ok, so this one got passed on to me by my friend Glenn, who's a bright chap, but a wee bit on the gullible side. Anything suggesting at truth in this rumor? His supposed "proof" was garbled and I didn't fully understand it, but it had something to do with relegion...
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phenomenomenon
Ron Mexico


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I don't have anything to cite, but in my art history class in high school I believe my teacher said something about love letters to men.

But to me, that's not the most compelling reason to think he might be gay. I'd say it's the sculptures of so-called women that resemble manly men with water balloons hanging off their chests that convinces me. At the very least, it suggests that he was sorely lacking in experience with the nude female body...

For your viewing pleasure...

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"Time isn't made out of lines, it's made out of circles. That's why clocks are round!"

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Slainey
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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He had two series of very involved loves letter and poems -one to a man and one to a woman. Either or both may have been literary exercises.

I think he liked rocks best.

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Syllavus
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Instant Karma: Just Add Water:
But to me, that's not the most compelling reason to think he might be gay. I'd say it's the sculptures of so-called women that resemble manly men with water balloons hanging off their chests that convinces me. At the very least, it suggests that he was sorely lacking in experience with the nude female body...

I only vaguely remember covering this topic in art history, but I remember many painters and sculptures created female figures that looked more manly. I believe it had to do with the fact that it was forbidden for nude females to model for the artists, so they had to make do with trying to adapt the male form. Apparently there was no problem with men modeling nude for the artists.

Also during this time period, if woman were expected to be very demure in the bedroom, it is probable that even if a man were straight and married, he still might not get much exposure to a fully nude female form on a regular basis.

Don't take me as 100% correct though because as I said, this was tucked away in the corner of my brain somewhere and I just dusted it off. But I do know for a fact there were many artists who made manly female figures, and I doubt that it's an indicator that all of them were homosexual.

But then of course, you never know! [Big Grin]

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"That would be really dangerous, you know. Indiscriminately extricating someone from the petrified corpse of a supernatural creature." - My Husband

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Syllavus
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Instant Karma: Just Add Water:
But to me, that's not the most compelling reason to think he might be gay. I'd say it's the sculptures of so-called women that resemble manly men with water balloons hanging off their chests that convinces me. At the very least, it suggests that he was sorely lacking in experience with the nude female body...

I only vaguely remember covering this topic in art history, but I remember many painters and sculptures created female figures that looked more manly. I believe it had to do with the fact that it was forbidden for nude females to model for the artists, so they had to make do with trying to adapt the male form. Apparently there was no problem with men modeling nude for the artists.

Also during this time period, if woman were expected to be very demure in the bedroom, it is probable that even if a man were straight and married, he still might not get much exposure to a fully nude female form on a regular basis.

Don't take me as 100% correct though because as I said, this was tucked away in the corner of my brain somewhere and I just dusted it off. But I do know for a fact there were many artists who made manly female figures, and I doubt that it's an indicator that all of them were homosexual.

But then of course, you never know! [Big Grin]

--------------------
"That would be really dangerous, you know. Indiscriminately extricating someone from the petrified corpse of a supernatural creature." - My Husband

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Dr. Van Thorp
Deck the Malls


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If course Michelangelo was gay. All historic figures were gay. In 100 years, Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan will be gay.
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Barbara R.
Deck the Malls


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Many gay activists tend to present historical figures as either gay, or bisexual, often presenting specious, sometimes shoddy evidence.

One example of this "evidence" is "love" letters. We must keep in mind that up until the last 100 years or so, many literate, educated people frequently wrote to their friends and relatives as well as lovers and spouses using florid, effusive language. I recall about 25 years ago, some letters former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt wrote to her friend, journalist/reporter Lorena Hickok. The letters had become available to the public in 1978, 10 years after Ms. Hickok's death. Mrs. Roosevelt used expressions like "my dear", "my darling," and said "I want to take you in my arms and hold you close." Many times a parent, especially an affectionate mother will said such things in a letter to her adult child. It shows affection that is not necessarily erotic or romantic. So one must not automatically conclude that when a woman writes in a letter to a woman friend that she wants to hug her as a display of affection, it need not mean lesbian affection. Her recipient may be suffering, and the friend may just want to comfort her.

Barbara

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Chris J
Hotel California Roll


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The young man who became important to an ageing Michelangelo was named Tommaso dei Cavalieri, if you want to google that name. Their relationship has been described as 'platonic'. Here's a couple of passages from Robin Richmond's Michelangelo and the Creation of the Sistine Chapel (Crescent Books, 1992):

Michelangelo did not, evidently, care for the pleasures of the material world. He lived mostly inside his head and the landscape of his own thoughts was infinitely more interesting to him than the comforts of his home, or anyone else's. He held the belief, central to his faith and the legacy of Savonarola's teaching, that the flesh must be mortified. Its pleasures were meaningless in comparison with the purity of the soul. - p. 124

The courtly poems that he wrote display a lyrical use of language. He declared himself to be a 'prisoner of his armed cavalier', a pun on Tommaso's name, but seems to be more in love with the idea of love than with its object. Still, this is a new Michelangelo. It is improbable that this love was ever expressed physically, for Michelangelo was an ascetic who lived most comfortably in his mind. Condivi writes of Michelangelo's sexual abstinence in his memoir. - p. 130

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Launce
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
If course Michelangelo was gay. All historic figures were gay. In 100 years, Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan will be gay.
The belief that Michelangelo was gay is not some kind of "retroactive history." The rumors about him date from his own time.

I'm not saying that it's true, or that it's not. I just dislike when the argument is dismissed as "gays think everybody's gay."

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anue
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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The Agony and the Ecstasy, though it does employ quite a bit of creative license, speaks pretty in-depth about his various loves, both female and male (Tommaso).

His greatest love seemed to have been marble - there were far too many descriptions of Michelangelo as penetrating, making love to his marble while he was carving.

His other loves covered so many different spectra; one was mostly for sex and a warm dinner, the other to admire from afar or through a crowd. Who's to say whom he loved and whom he didn't? Hence the question with Tommaso - did he love Tommaso or was it just another area of the spectrum?

And that part of the question we may never answer.

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om mani padme hum

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Ursa Major
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Shhh!

Don't let Charlton Heston know another one of his characters is gay. I couldn't bear another embarassingly overdefensive barrage of letters to the LA Times Calandar section.

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Mouse
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I heard that he suffered from Asperger's Syndrome.

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"I distrust who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -- Susan B. Anthony

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AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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no no. Leonardo da Vinci was gay.

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"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

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Chris J
Hotel California Roll


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Did Michelangelo have autism?

quote:
no no. Leonardo da Vinci was gay.

Well, the name to look for there is Gian Giacomo Caprotti, nicknamed Salai. For the last 30 years of Leonardo's life they lived together. Whether Salai was an adopted son, a pupil, a servant or a lover of Leonardo's is the subject of much speculation.

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resELution
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Was Michelangelo gay?

Of course not!

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