HEROIC LGBT ART IN FLORENCE

Emperor Hadrian and his slain lover Antinous, Piazza della Signoria, Florence

Emperor Hadrian and his slain lover Antinous, Piazza della Signoria, Florence

Depictions of two of the most famous same sex love stories can be found in Florence, on the Piazza della Signoria.

Antinous is described as “the one person who seems to have connected most profoundly with Hadrian” throughout the latter’s life. There is no reliable evidence that Hadrian ever expressed a sexual attraction for women, in contrast to much reliable early evidence that he was sexually attracted to boys and young men.Emperor Hadrian was devastated by the death of his lover Antinous. In Egypt, the local priesthood immediately deified Antinous by identifying him with Osiris due to the manner of his death.

Statue of David by Michelangelo, Piazza della Signoria, Florence

Statue of David by Michelangelo, Piazza della Signoria, Florence

 

 

 

 

“The way that Hadrian took Antinous on his travels, kept close to him at moments of spiritual, moral or physical exaltation, and, after his death, surrounded himself with his images, shows an obsessive craving for his presence, a mystical-religious need for his company.”
-Royston Lambert

 

“He is David not only the killer of Goliath but David the lover of Jonathan. David, who says when Jonathan dies, ‘Your love to me was more beautiful than that of women.'”

– James Saslow

 

 

 

 

 

 

In modern times, some scholars, writers, and activists have emphasized what they interpret as elements of homoeroticism (chaste or otherwise) in the story. A number of groups made up of gay Roman Catholics trying to reconcile their faith with their sexuality have also adopted the name to their cause.ClickToLearnMoreButton

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