An Italian Tour Operator specialising in Gay & Lesbian Tourism are offering guided tours of the Vatican, exploring the art from an LGBT perspective. Quiky’s investigates the sexuality of some of the greatest artists from the 16th and 17th century including, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Caravaggio. For centuries the Catholic church and many art historians denied the sexuality of these great masters, even though in their time, they were quite open about their preferences, especially in their art. Quiky’s feels that with the current Pope’s liberal views, now is the time to give an accurate account of the creators of several masterpieces housed in the Vatican.
The Quiky’s brochure states that “The tour starts with the Vatican Museums’. At first sight your eyes will be caught by the modern entrance built for the Jubilee in 2000 but then – inside the museums – “the Sistine Chapel will amaze you as well as the ancient Greek and Rome’s statues, of interest, above all of the others is the statue of emperor Hadrianus and his beloved Antinoo”. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 to 1512. The commission was originally to paint the twelve apostles, however Michelangelo demanded a free hand in the pictorial content of the scheme. He painted a series of nine pictures now considered iconic. When asked if he would have painted the Sistine Chapel again, he answered that he’d prefer a bowl of cold soup!”
One key point about Michelangelo’s figures is that they were inspired by everyday working people and paid particular attention to sensual and muscular male nudes. The brochure continues; “This gay friendly guided tour uses slang and a simple language to reveal secrets about the private lives of the painters and sculptors. Historians from all over the world now agree that he was gay and had a love affair with a young poet. The proof is also that he loved painting masculine figures. After the Sistine Chapel the tour visits the Gallery of Tapestries and St. Peter’s Basilica”.
Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2014