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Was Leonardo da Vinci Gay?

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Question: Was Leonardo da Vinci Gay?
Answer: The late Renaissance painter, poet, designer, architect and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) is famous for his paintings of the Vitruvius Man, The Last Supper and Mona Lisa, to name just a few masterpieces. Through his art, Leonardo da Vinci depicted the complexities and perfection of the human form and was often thought to represent a melding of both humanity and divinity through mathematics, science, music, paint and poetry. (more Leonardo da Vinci)

Rumors of Leonardo da Vinci's Sexuality

Speculation over Leonardo da Vinci's sexuality began when he was 24 years old after his arrest on charges of sodomy, a serious crime in 15th century Florence. No witnesses appeared to support allegations da Vinci had sexual relations with a seventeen-year-old male model, thus the charges were dropped.

Although allegations of Leonardo da Vinci's homosexuality were never substantiated, rumors continued to circulate among those who analyzed his depiction of young boys in his paintings, his portrayal of an effeminate John in The Last Supper, and the fact that he had several young male proteges and no wife and kids.

After the hearings, Leonardo kept his personal life extremely private. At the time, unfavorable rumors or negative public attention was detrimental to the career of an artist, such as da Vinci, who was dependant upon the support of patrons and the Church.

Today, we are left with mere speculation as to the same-gender-loving feelings Leonardo da Vinci may have expressed in his personal life and his art. Regardless of his sexuality, Leonardo da Vinci should be (and is) remembered as the most influential Renaissance artists in our history.

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