It seems the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History aren’t the only ones getting tour makeovers. According to the Guardian, Quiky, a gay travel company, will also be giving entertainingly sensual tours of the Vatican.
Quiky’s tour will celebrate the sexuality of some of the Catholic church’s most respected artists opening up new dialogues on the world’s best-known 16th and 17th century art. For centuries the notion that Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, or Caravaggio were gay was, to say the least, controversial (a 1961 biopic of Michelangelo gave him a made-up girlfriend). Members of the Catholic church and some art historians have long chosen to ignore or deny the sexual proclivities of these artists, despite contemporary evidence that their sexuality was never a secret. The travel company sees their project as in line with the current pope’s more liberal views.
What can you expect on Quiky’s tour of the holiest of the holy sanctuaries? Stories of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel filled with nudes that exude the old master’s obsession for male beauty next to paintings by Leonardo who was renowned for his love of young effeminate men with soft long ringlets, and of course, works by Caravaggio who was ridiculed in his lifetime for having homosexual relations.
While tour guides (of the non-sensual variety) would ordinarily say that Michelangelo was “married to his art,” that may be true, but it doesn’t prevent us from exploring his sexual side.