In Plain Sight

For A Homophobic Place, There’s A Lot Of Gay Art At The Vatican

Did Pope Francis get all mellow (well, by Vatican standards) about gayness because he took a tour through the Vatican art collection? Could be. It wouldn’t take long to realize that some of the Church’s greatest artistic glories are products of gay artists.

The UK Guardian has a nice rundown of all the masterpieces created for the Vatican by gay artists. Among the artistic masters that Church now celebrates:

  • Michelangelo. The Vatican is practically synonymous with the Sistine Chapel. But Michelangelo may have used his visits to the bathhouses as inspiration for the Chapel’s frescoes.
  • Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci’s portrait of St. Jerome has a prominent place in the Vatican museum, The artist himself was formally accused of sodomy when he was in his 20s.
  • Caravaggio. His paintings of St. Matthew in San Luigi dei Francesci are magnificent, but Caravaggio was rumored to have cut quite a swath through the gay quarters of Rome.

Now, “gay” as a concept didn’t really exist when these artists were working. But it’s impossible to look at their celebration of male beauty and not believe that their interest was more than academic.

As for the Vatican: as with all things gay, it’s perfectly happy to have them in plain site as long as it doesn’t have to acknowledge the God’s honest truth.

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  • 1EqualityUSA

    There is a cherub on the grounds holding a huge fruit basket down by his pelvis and, amid the various fruits, you’ll find the head of a penis sticking out. Yeah. Gay. everywhere, gay.

  • Charli Girl

    Sistine chapel? I always thought they were saying” SIXTEEN CHAPEL….LOL

  • Spike

    If you have ever been to the Vatican (and disappointed that lightning didn’t strike while you were there) there is no way you didn’t walk away thinking, how did they not realize that every artist commissioned HAD TO BE GAY. In particular the statues, someone had a serious hard on for 20 something guys with amazing bods and asses, as for the dicks/balls, they must have only sculpted during the winter months.

  • Zodinsbrother

    Modern historians have pulled a confidence trick in making people believe that a gay identity didn’t exist before the 20th Century. And articles like this fall for it.

    Of course there was a gay identity. These men might have called themselves “mollies” or other names before the WORD Gay was adopted but the concept was the same.

  • Cobalt Blue

    LOL. The three artists were gay for sure. History teaches us. But is important to think that Vatican and all catholic temples in Europe and Américas are full of maneiristic and barroque art that follows certain canons imposed by Concil of Trento in need to face the Reform ( The Counter Reform ). It’s not only a metter of the artist will. Although is full of opulence and a certain ‘sexual appeal ‘ indeed. There are famed feminine nudes in this period too, like ” Eva, Prima Pandora ” or ” Venere Medicea “.

  • Dev.C

    As an artist this is one of the main reason why I despise the Christian faith. Michelangelo and Caravaggio have been two of my biggest inspirations as far as being gay and and a Artist. The Catholic church used and abused them both for religious propaganda until they died, and now in the present wish to diminish the right of gay existence while they sit under the Sisteen chapel and judge.

    F**K the Church.

  • Abbie

    For a generally homophobic religion, Christianity has an amazingly gay doctrine in the Trinity. God the father, God the son, and God the (definitely male) Holy Spirit. No female participation anywhere!!

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