5. Michelangelo and Tommaso dei Cavelieri
As the Renaissance’s greatest sculptor, Michelangelo enjoyed enough power with the Vatican that he did not need to hide his homosexual tendencies. (It probably helped that Pope Julius II, by many accounts, was also gay.) But Michelangelo left few records of specific lovers. The greatest exception may be the erotic stature Victory, modeled on Cavelieri, a lover also referenced in Michelangelo’s homoerotic poetry as his cavalry man, according to historian Rictor Norton. Michelangelo famously liked to “sign” art in his later years by including his own image in his work, and Victory was an example where Michelangelo depicted himself between the model’s legs.