he liked to surround himself with beautiful young people and he had homosexuality voice with a mystery during the Renaissance. However, and despite his habit of meticulously recording his daily life, Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) left nothing in writing about his love affairs.
before the age of thirty He was twice accused of sodomyA crime that was punishable by gelding in Florence of the Night Office and death at the stake.
The court, which was fed by anonymous complaints that citizens could deposit in mailboxes on the street, the so-called “holes of truth”, built in 1432 with the aim of suppressing homosexuality in a city that had become Europe’s gay mecca. (In Germany the term Floranger was used to designate people who maintained relationships with people of the same sex). More than 15,000 men were tried.
Nude drawing of Leonardo and Salai. / Photo: Courtesy La Vanguardia
leonardo Was not convicted, but faced trial And spent two months in prison waiting for the sentence. Surely that traumatic experience had a lot to do with the mystery with which he tried to protect his privacy throughout his life.
For more than a quarter of a century, the artist maintained a close relationship with Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno, nicknamed Salai (the Little Devil, named after Luigi Pulsi’s character Morgente). a young assistant who came to his workshop at the age of ten and Which is described by the gossip Giorgio Vasari in The Lives of Artists (1550) as “a youth most beautiful in grace and beauty, with fine locks, curled into ringlets, in which Leonardo expressed great delight”.
Sigmund Freud published a psychoanalytic study, A Childhood Memory of Leonardo da Vinci, in 1910, in which he argued that Tuscan geniuses were homosexual but celibate, and raised their sexuality under constant scrutiny.
It was a common practice to send children as apprentices to artists’ workshops: if they showed skill, He took lessons and could become a painter, needle turned a Thief, In a letter to the boy’s father, the artist lamented: “The other day I had two shirts, pants and a tailored jacket for him. And when I set aside money for these things, he stole money from my wallet And I could not accept it, yet I firmly believed in it. In another letter he would refer to her as a “thief, a liar, a stubborn, a glutton”.
Portrait of Salai, 1502-03. Private Collection Elos Foundation Wikipedia / Photo: Gentleness Avant-Garde
Leonardo, who, according to Anonymous Gadiano, wore “a pink knee-length robe when most people wore long robes”.or kept by his side as a model and attendants until 1516. A drawing made in 1490 is known as allegory of happiness and sorrowWhich show A young man and an old man united in one body, can illustrate this relationship.
“I prefer humanity to be extinguished to practice sex,” the artist wrote, and Dr. Sigmund Freud published a psychoanalytic study in 1910.childhood memory of leonardo da vinci in which he argued that the Tuscan genius was homosexual but celibate, and that He raised his sexuality in a constant scrutiny.
I Also Elizabeth Abbott, in this history of celibacyargues that although Leonardo was probably homosexual, the trauma of the matter of sex turned him into celibacy for the rest of his life.
Leonardo was twice accused of sodomy, spent two months in prison and kept his personal life a secret after that traumatic event.
However, Leonardo himself refutes the theory of the father of psychoanalysis, which so far appears to be his only confession. Salai, who worked as a model for his erotic semi-naked Saint John the Baptist in the Louvre collection, and even There are people who want to see their features in Monalisais the hero of incarnate angelA small portrait in which he represents his young friend without wings, female breasts and a roaring build that invites desire.
Pathfinder’s name appears cut off on the back of the drawing which belonged to the British Royal Collection and mysteriously reappeared in Germany in the 1990s.
‘Saint John the Baptist’ in the collection of the Louvre Museum, 1508-1513. / Photo: Courtesy La Vanguardia
“If the connection between Leonardo and Salai is not considered, it is not understood why The artist insisted on keeping it with him for so many years As a child and a helper”, given his lazy and lying character, writes Giovanni D’Orto, the foremost historian of LGBT issues in Italy.
And he says that “Leonardo was the son of his time, and those were the times when a twelve-year-old girl could marry an adult man even with the blessing of the Church.” Other erotic drawings, actually doodles made by Leonardo’s assistants in the Codex Atlanticus, show two large penises, with their legs extending toward a hole, above which There is an inscription: “Salai”.