More about Leonardo da Vinci's homosexuality
On this topic, it's time to get real and admit that as a matter of fact, there is no proof
at all, not even a single sign that Leonardo was homosexual. Those who claim this ignore all the
basic rules of historical research and only express their own fantasies.
That being said, it doesn't mean that he wasn't. Maybe he was. The fact is that we don't
know, that the odds are not higher for him to be gay than for any other man.
It has been always assumed that Sala was Leonardo's lover, just because he was nice
looking and that he gave him anything he wanted.
This vision is very sad. It suggests that emotional links between a man and a young boy must
be forcibly the fruit of libidinous desire. Moreover, Leonardo would have choosen Sala for
sex while the latter was just 10!
No. Leonardo had choosen Sala, as everybody knows, because he saw him drawing on a rock,
probably with a certain talent.
An affective link between Leonardo and the young boy took place immediately, to the point of
considering him as his adoptive son. Leonardo knew that he will never lock himself in
marriage because his life was dedicated to art and science. Sala brought him a semblance of
family, a son that he wouldn't have had otherwise.
Leonardo must have felt very lonely psychologicaly and Sala probably brought him the
comforting support he needed. No need to imaging some obcenities about it. The boy listened
to him like a son and the man talked to him like a father. He was his confident, in the sens
that he was the only one to whom Leonardo could talk openly. Sala, maybe, was able to listen
and understand him as nobody else could have, and this could very well compensate for all
An aprentice in Leonardo's entourage was nicknamed Sodoma. Did it mean that Leonardo had
personaly, sodomized him? No. But one thing is clear: In this community of artists, there
were gays happy to come to work as model. Maybe there was a higher proportion of gays at the
guild of St Luke than anywhere else. It doesn't mean they were all gays.
Leonardo's gay drawings
Leonardo allegedly drew a penis in erection coming from one man to another man. Penis later
erased. It's without doubt a bad joke.
One thing is obvious: among the thousands of the drawings of the master, not a single one is
openly erotic. First of all, it would have been pure madness at this time. It would have
discredited Leonardo immediately, stripped him off his title of master if not condemned to
Secondly, Leonardo was well above this kind of thing. He despised everything about sex and
if he does so about the intercourse between a man and a woman, it doesn't mean that he has
more esteem for what might happens with two men.
Leonardo drew bottocks of men? Does it make him a gay? Well, me too I drew bottocks of men
more than once and I didn't feel gayer after that. To study the muscles and the
tendons of the human body, a male model is necessary, the body of the woman being too fat.
Leonardo's favorite model for anatomical studies was a skinny old man. Not realy the
dream boy ideal!
All his drawings are full of serious virility even if sometimes and in every paintings of
him he prooved to be immensly sensible.
Leonardo's spirit was too elevated to be interrested in these kind of things and gave too
much value to intelligence and art to include them in his work.
The whole society at this time gave huge value to the things of the mind and one never mixed
them with the things of sex. Not by puritanism (they were not more puritan than today) nor
by fear of the Inquisition but by respect for art and literature.
St John-Baptist Bachus
This painting is worth mentioning here because it's the perfect gay/ambisexual artwork. Yet
this extraordinary masterpiece is not at all erotical. Nothing which could confirm the
homosexual tendencies of his author with certainty.
If at least Leonardo had made a large amount of such paintings, all expressing feminity in
men, see transexuality, then his sexual orientation could be questionable. But here this is
only one and unique canvas. Moreover without erotical element whatsoever. Just the portrait
of a smiling joung man, vaguely efeminate and who could today be taken for a woman.
Back in its context, this portrait is perfectly normal because the model, presumed Sala, has
the hairdress for boys according to the fashion of this time.
It's true that there is some ressemblance with Mona Lisa. This can be explained by the
identical treatment used by the painter for both of the portraits, the same way of drawing
the eyes and the mounth with this rictus so typical of Leonardo. And after all, perhaps Mona
Lisa and Sala realy did look alike, being from the same region.
Leonardo and women
His sexual life was not exposed to the public. Leonardo didn't exhibited his intimate life and
poeple respected that. If there were poeple who knew about it, they wouldn't talk about it
be respect to privacy.
Leonardo didn't have any relationship with any known woman. That we don;t know about them
doesn't mean that he didn't have any. We just don't know.
Has he been laid by Mona Lisa? It's possible since he kept the painting with him all his
life and never delivered it to the husband who ordered it. But this is also imaginary, not
an historic fact. We also know that Leonardo was very popular with the women at balls and
parties. Has he been seduced by one or another, we will never know.
What's important to remember is that the absence of known heterosexual relation is not a
sign of homosexuality. And the opposite neither: There were homosexuals who had intercourses
Leonardo probably didn't want to be involved in a couple relationship which would have
heavily complicated his way of life and his liberty. That's why, if relationship there was,
he hid them well.
Other facets of his personality
What more can be said about Leonardo? That he wore pink, exentric clothes... He was
exceptional in amny ways. It's not necessary to redo the list of all is talents and personal
traits. Just, exentricity with such person is inevitable. It wasn't forcibly needed to be
gay to be excentric. This is so cliché
As a conclusion
Are Leonardo da Vinci's sexual tendencies real important? To be true, we don't give a damn.
It doesn't change anything to his genius, to the insurmountable beauty of his art.
Those who lived at this time couldn't care less. Poeple around him respected him and didn't
ask any question. He respected the private life of others, others repected his.
When he was young, he was accused of sodomia with a group of friends. An anomymous bill
dropped in a box which at the end was quickely discarded. Since then nobody brought it up
All should be very important for those who knew him and admired him during his life. He died
at the castel of the King of France, legging treasures to humanity. Frankly, what difference
could it make with whom he had affairs?
Today we endlessy write books, publish papers, debate on tv asserting all sort of things
Leonardo would be laughing if he could watch us.
©Frederic Hage 2012