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LGBT People of History 7 - Michelangelo

Updated on April 24, 2012
Michelangelo | Source
Michelangelo's David
Michelangelo's David | Source

This is the seventh installment of our LGBT People of History series.


Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was born in 1475. He and Leonardo are considered to be the greatest Renaissance figures. He was a sculptor, painter and architect par excellence, amongst other things. His finest achievements include the paintings of Genesis on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the Last Judgment on the Sistine Chapel wall and the design of St Peter’s in Rome. Perhaps his best works were in sculpture with the Pieta and, of course, the exquisite David, which is unbelievably realistic.

Michelangelo appears to have been a bit of a loner and very frugal in his habits.

It is highly likely that Michelangelo was gay. His appreciation of the nude male form is obvious in his painting and sculptural works. After having known Cecchino dei Bracci for a very brief time Michelangelo was devastated at his death as can be seen in many heartfelt verses which he wrote.

Callum was told this story on a visit to the Sistine Chapel: In the corner of the ceiling, Michelangelo had painted a demon which had scaly lizard-like skin, was all in green and was swallowing his own tail; it looks like a human and was painted in the image of a Cardinal in the Vatican who disapproved of Michelangelo for being homosexual, so not to be outdone he painted the Cardinal as a demon and it has remained there ever since.

Perhaps the greatest love of his life was with Tommaso dei Cavalieri who was 34 years younger than Michelangelo. This relationship seems to have been reciprocated and they were devoted to each other as is evidenced in the many expressive verses which the older man wrote for the younger.

Michelangelo died in 1564 leaving a fabulous legacy of paintings and sculpture to the world.

Ian and Callum.

Thanks to Wikipedia.

Here is a link to all of our Hubs on LGBT People of History:


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    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      I will!

      Looking forward to it!


    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      Great! I'm looking forward to them!

      By the way, I appreciate you checking out the latest in my series. When you get a chance, check out numbers 14, 17 and 18. I think you will be more able to relate to the humor based on President Obama's visit close to your area.

      Thanks again!

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Oh, yes! We have a list that keeps expanding, Dexter....


    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      Hi guys! I am really enjoying this series. Are you planning to include any notable figures from the 18th, 19th or early 20th Century? Not trying to rush you or anything. Just like finding out new things.


    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      I really love your story, Cal - that's the kind of wee anecdote you get from tour guides.....


    • calpol25 profile image

      Callum 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      This one is brilliant, we are getting good at this :) x


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