Saturday, November 12, 2005

Donatello, Deineka, Guttuso...

Frank Sutcliffe Excitement 1888

Richard G. Mann at glbtq has an article on art.


Mann writes that Hinduism sees sexuality as a means to attain unity with the divine.

Hindu temples have sculptures that are bisexual in nature.

Islamic and British invaders destroyed many of the sexual scenes on Hindu temples, but some have survived, as at the Vishvanatha Temple at Khajuraho (950-1050).


Bisexual behaviour was common in ancient Greece. Mann relates that Harmodius and Aristogiton, who established democracy in Athens, were lovers.

According to Mann, scenes on Greek vases ranged from 'casual flirtations between bearded older and smooth-faced younger men' to wild "orgies" and "Boisterous" Satyrs.

Alexander the Great's love for Hephaestion 'is celebrated in a Hellenistic relief (preserved in a Roman Syrian marble copy, approximately 200 B.C.E.), which shows the nude Alexander standing next to the clothed figure of his lover'.


Mann reminds us that the Roman Emperor Hadrian commissioned numerous (partially clothed) statues of the beautiful young Antinous for display throughout the empire.

'Scenes of lively nude male figures engaged in a wide variety of sexual activities covered the walls of bathhouses' (such as the House of Jupiter and Ganymede, Ostia, Italy, 184-192 C.E.).

The Warren Cup (first century C.E.)

Mann continues:


Donatello, 'whose attraction to young men is well documented', created the bronze David (1430s).,%20Italy%20-%20Donatello

'David is shown wearing a hat, popular among young working class youths in Florence. The intense naturalism with which the adolescent body is depicted suggests the artist's careful (and admiring) study of his apprentices.'

Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (1477-1549) chose the nickname "Il Sodoma". He painted nude martyred saints (such as Saint Sebastian, 1542).

Albrecht Dürer portrayed naked men 'provocatively gazing at one another in the contemporary setting of the Bathhouse (woodcut, 1496); he emphasized the sexual implications of the scene by placing a cock (rooster) on top of the large faucet that projected in front of one of the figures.'

Michelangelo 'revealed his conflicting feelings about his sexual desires in a pair of drawings in made in 1533 for his beloved Tomasso Cavalieri: Ganymede, which depicts the beautiful, nude adolescent being carried up to heaven by an embracing eagle, and Tityos, which shows an eagle eating the intestines of a very similar figure.'

Caravaggio who 'boldly flaunted his attraction to other men, created numerous homoerotic works.' Love Triumphant (1602) shows 'a naturalistically depicted street youth trampling on symbols of human achievement.'
Guido Reni's Saint Sebastian (1615) 'eloquently reveals that nude figures, required by certain devotional and mythological subjects, could be infused with a languid and subtly subversive sexuality.'


Same sex relations became legal at the time of the French Revolution and Napoleon.

Numerous prominent artists 'exhibited paintings of overtly homoerotic nudes at the Paris Salons in the early nineteenth century'.

Hippolyte Flandrin's Figure d'Etude (1835), 'which depicts a youthful model with his head bent down onto his raised knees, freed the homoerotic subject from the requirements of a mythological or historical theme.' Hippolyte Flandrin in the Art Renewal Center

In Simeon Solomon's Bridegroom and Sad Love (1865), a nude youth is dispassionately kissing the forehead of his bride while he fondles the genitals of the sorrowful adult Cupid standing alongside him.

Towards the end of the 19th century, Von Gloeden's art involved photograph of boys and young men in Taormina, Sicily. 'He established a successful mail-order business, selling his works to wealthy men throughout Europe and the Americas.' Von Gloeden

The American painter Thomas Eakins created 'naturalistic, distinctly American images of heroic, nude male figures.'


At the beginning of the century, the American painter Charles Demuth created several watercolors of scenes New York bathhouses.

Paul Cadmus painted nudes, such as Horseplay (1935) and The Bath (1951).


Picasso nudes






Paul Peel


Jules Van Biesbroeck


Luwig Von Hofmann


Frederick Walker

Arthur Hopkins

Lord Leighton

Henry Scott Tuke


Albert Aublet

Jean Broc

Carpentier Evariste

Maxfield Parrish


John Singer Sargent

Frank Sutcliffe 1890
The Sutcliffe Gallery



Manson and others

Terry Rogers

Gerard Burns

Jean-François Le Saint

Balthus .


Czech art

Eugene Jansson


Anna Merritt


Lehnert Landrock



Alexandre Cabanel



Robert Doisneau

Willy Ronis

Herbert List

Arthur Tress

Will McBride

Duncan Carse




Angelica Kauffmann

Laszlo Marton


John George Brown


Nell Joshua

Charles Gleyre

Bernhard Prinz -

Andre Durand - See full-size image. 001Durand/source/9.html

Michel Gourlier

Pierre Joubert

E.M. St Petersburg



1 comment:

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