Art and homosexuality: If Michelango was straight...

would he have painted the Sistine Chapel?

The thread about genetics and ‘weeding out’ homosexuality in the future got me thinking. Does being gay make one more open to explore artisic endeavors? Or does being open and free (as artists usually are) lead one to be more sexually open?

If being gay did disappear or diminish in the future because of genetics, would art (in all forms) deteriorate?

Sounds like a correlation vs. causation argument to me - that is, if you can even demonstrate that gay people are more apt towards artistic expression.

Michelangelo was gay?

I always thought he was the fruitiest of the Ninja Turtles.

Not if you listen to Cahrleton (sp) Heston.

Spelling and grammer subject to change without notice.

In the absence of any evidence one way or the other, it would have been 19 times more valid to have titled this thread:-

Art and heterosexuality: If Michelangelo was gay…

Well how do you explain more gays in the artist’s “community” ? I do have my doubts about wether they seek the more open environment or if it liberalizes them. Probably the first… the arts is one of the few places its “normal” to be gayish. For some reason its more acceptable to society.

If the topic is Michelangelo we’re talking about a culture of 500 years ago, are we not?
The whole way of life of all people in the cultures of that time was too different to the life style of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. Most of the population were hard pressed trying to make a living, most of them unsuccessfully, by which I mean dying.

No valid comparison can possibly be made with today’s way of life, nor can any valid assumptions be made for that period. Shaky generalisations are about the best we can do, but even those should be treated with caution.

As to Michelangelo’s sexual orientation, no one knows. I don’t treat speculations as fact.

How about this guy… or even this woman, for whom, in all likeliness, he used a male model. (Come on, those have got to be fake!)

As this author writes:

Sure, in the absence of Mich leaving a coming-out-of-the-closet epistle we don’t know for sure. But the evidence we do have: his art, his letters, testimonies and attacks by his contemporaries, leans strongly towards the gayer side of the force.

Describing a 15th century figure as “anti-feminist” makes about as much sense as describing Augustus Ceasar as a neo-conservative.

I agree that the author’s choice of words was quite poor. The point is, however, that even for his time and culture, he seemed to especially dislike women. To the point of using male models for female sculptures.

Homosexuality was in vogue in Renaissance Italy. Go figure.

Michelangelo may indeed have been “genuinely” homosexual. Maybe he wasn’t. Does it really matter?

Would your average 15th century European woman pose nude for an artist?

#2 doesn’t really seem possible unless you accept homosexuality as a choice, rather than a biological thing. That is, unless one is also ‘born’ an artist.

Whether it’s true or not, jovan’s cite amuses me. The thinking seems to be “Mike was gay! How do I know? He was an artist and a lifelong bachelor. Come on, didn’t he seem a little, you know…” :wink: :wink:

On a superficial level, to some extent. Some might be interested in how artists’ lives, lifestyles, etc. are echoed in their works. On the other hand, trying to establish correlations between sexual orientation and artistic skill or whatnot is a much less interesting endeavour.

On the issue of male models for female subjects, double-checking my dusty art history textbooks, I see that this was the norm in Michelangelo’s time. On the other hand, you can’t help notice the grotesquely masculine character of the “night” figure.

A person who is predominantly straight could still sleep with guys in the same way someone predominantly gay could still sleep with women.

Oh, and I beliebe Leonardo DaVinci got in serious trouble for sleeping with someone important’s son. I’ll need to dig out a cite today.

“The point is, however, that even for his time and culture, he seemed to especially dislike women. To the point of using male models for female sculptures.”

Disliking women doesn’t make someone gay. He just disliked women. He may be gay, but I never heard it before.

Also, I don’t think the arts contain a particularly higher percentage of gay people. It’s much easier to be out in those circles than say, on Wall Street, but there are plenty of gay people in other walks of life. They just don’t come out as readily.

I think it’s pretty accepted orthodoxy that Michelangelo (and Leonardo DaVinci) were gay.

I think that as long as homosexuality is condemned, there will be a large overlap between gay and artistic, as has always been the case. When you come to learn that your very being is denied and condemned by your society and its rules, you must come, eventually, in order to survive, to the conclusion that your society and its rules are wrong. This paradigm shift is the single greatest “blessing in disguise,” as it allows you–even compels you–to question other things about your society. Thus is born many an artist, myself included.

No. It isn’t. There are some scholars who believe that, but there has never been any real evidence to prove it either way. the fact was, solitary male lives and a special sense of brotherhood and male-male non sexual relations were probably stronger in those days anyhow.

Seeing as he was being forced to by the Pope who employed him, I would be inclined to say yes.