Art Tour: Michelangelo Was Gay (Shocking!)

Jonathan Jones considers a new gay-art tour of the Vatican and writes: ‘Visitors to Rome used to be told by tour guides that Michelangelo was “married to his art.” At least that was less shameless than the 1961 biopic that gives him a made-up girlfriend. It is a welcome sign of changing attitudes that an Italian tour company is now offering art tours of the Vatican that focus on the sexualities of Michelangelo and other great 16th and 17th-century masters. Michelangelo was gay. Even very recently this was a controversial statement – in spite of copious visual and written evidence about his unconcealed sexual identity. Centuries of prudery and prejudice covered up the obvious, just as polite draperies added after Michelangelo’s death still cover the genitals and buttocks of some of his most potent nudes.’

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