Homosexuality in Art (Temporis Collection)
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This book is not a panegyric of homosexuality. It is a scientific study led by Professor James Smalls who teaches art history in the prestigious University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Abandoning all classical clichés and sociological approaches, the author highlights the sensibility particular to homosexuals.
This book examines the process of creation and allows one to comprehend the contribution of homosexuality to the evolution of emotional perception. In a time when all barriers have been overcome, this analysis offers a new understanding of our civilisation’s masterpieces.
of marriage and sexual morality. Sodomy was especially condemned among members of the clergy who had, by that time, gained a reputation for indulging in such activities. Sodomy, a vice ascribed mostly to clerics at the time, was repeatedly linked with heresy. Under Pope Gregory VII (1073–1085), clerical celibacy was mandated. The drive to ensure conformity was relentless and gave rise to a moral purity crusade directed against Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and Jews, as well as heretics and
the most written-about figure of the Italian Renaissance. Many writers and scholars have taken a keen interest in Leonardo’s sexual orientation and its effects on his artistic and scientific works. Interpreters of Leonardo’s art and life have used fragmentary notebook jottings, his choice of shop assistants, the androgyny of some of the figures he painted, and his reputation among his contemporaries, in evaluating his homosexuality. Leonardo’s attraction to very young males is part of a
social status. For this reason, discourses of pederasty (from the Greek meaning “love of boys”) and sodomy (anal sex) as these related to class, age, and social status were more significant than the fact that the two partners were of the same sex. Concerns over the morality of homosexuality or sexual inversion are typical of modern rather than pre-modern approaches. What we call homosexual behavior was not frowned upon, for example, in ancient Greece. However, there were strict social rules that
this publication may be reproduced or adapted without the permission of the copyright holder, throughout the world. Unless otherwise specified, copyright on the works reproduced lies with the respective photographers. Despite intensive research, it has not always been posible to establish copyright ownership. Where this is the case we would appreciate notification. Final homo eng(N) 10/1/02 5:20 PM Page 3 Homosexuality in Art James Smalls Final homo eng(N) 10/1/02 5:20 PM Page 4
role model for leading a life that is supposed to include, among other things, strict celibacy. 83. Mughal India. Lesbian Allegory, 17th century (manuscript illustration, Koka Shastra) 84. The Rajasthan School. Two Women Making Love, late 18th century. Collection Giti Thadani Final homo eng(N) 10/1/02 6:04 PM Page 111 Final homo eng(N) 10/1/02 112 6:04 PM Page 112 Homosexuality in Art Sexuality plays a little role in Buddhist art outside Tantrism. As an esoteric belief system,