Tag Archives: April 16

Gay History: April 16, 1453 – Leonardo da Vinci is Born Near Florence, Italy.

Gay History: April 16, 1453 – Leonardo da Vinci is Born Near Florence, Italy.

April 16, 1453 – Leonardo da Vinc an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architecti is born near Florence, Italy.

When he was 24 was Leonardo was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old youth of “questionable” background.

Along with three other young men, he was anonymously accused of sodomy, which in Florence was a criminal offense, even though in most cases the authorities looked the other way and the general culture attached little social stigma to homosexuality.

The accusation specifically charged him with a homosexual interaction with one Jacopo Saltarelli, a notorious prostitute. The charges were brought in April, and for a time Leonardo and the other defendants were under the watchful eye of Florence’s “Officers of the Night“–a kind of renaissance vice squad.

However, the charges were dismissed in June, due to a lack of witnesses and evidence. It is probable that the Medici family brought had something to do with this outcome, as another of the defendants was Lionardo de Tornabuoni, and Lorenzo de Medici’s mother had been a Tornabuoni.

DaVinci never married or showed any (recorded) interest in women; indeed, he wrote in his notebooks that male-female intercourse disgusted him. His anatomical drawings naturally include the sexual organs of both genders, but those of the male exhibit much more extensive attention. Finally, Leonardo surrounded himself with beautiful young male assistants, such as Salai and Melzi.

This is a bit of gay history that is conveniently being straightwashed out the history books and media. Case in point STARZ’s show “Davinci’s Demons”  a young and sexy Leonardo (Tom Riley), who also seems to have invented the stubble trimmer and Supercuts along the way to designing  the paraglider and the helicopter. shares a fictional storyline and his bed with high-class Medici mistress Lucrezia Donadi (Laura Haddock) who does more than pose (topless of course) with Leonardo while he’s supposed to spend painting her portrait.

Many historians and scholars have speculated about Leonardo’s sexuality based on his intimate relationships with male companions and his tendency to depict the male form in his artwork, unfortunately after 600 years other than the teenage sodomy charge there is no other direct evidence of his sexuality either straight or gay but circumstantial evidence points to da Vinci either being gay or at the very least bisexual.