Michelangelo Inspired by Gay Bathhouses
BY Advocate.com Editors
November 15 2010 9:30 AM ET
An Italian art historian claims that visits to gay bathhouses and brothels inspired the male figurines in works from Michelangelo including the Last Judgment fresco, which appears in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.
According to the The Telegraph, “Elena Lazzarini, a researcher from Pisa University, believes the enormous fresco is replete with homosexual imagery, including a man being dragged into Damnation by his testicles and kisses and embraces between male figures.
“She has explored the theory in a new book, claiming that Michelangelo drew much of his knowledge of male anatomy from his frequent visits to gay brothels and 'Turkish baths' in 16th century Italy.”
Lazzarini said it was well documented that Michelangelo frequented Rome’s bathhouses and steam rooms. Many historians believe the artist was gay.
The Last Judgment, which covers the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel, was painted in the first half of the 16th century. It depicts scenes from the Second Coming of Christ and the apocalypse. The painting brought charges of indecency for Michelangelo, and in the mid-16th century, another artist was commissioned to paint over the offending parts, reports The Telegraph.