I came by this question at an Orkut Community. Being one of the many fans of Leonardo and the question of homosexuality being close to my heart, I read through each and every response.. Fortunately there were only 50 of them.
The question seems quite simple. An yes or a no answer. But the majority of the response were to the effect “why do you care?”, “how does it matter?”. And some concur on – “He is a great artist and thats all that matters.” Oh there was one specific person say with black bold font says – “Yes, Yes man according to me he believed in gayism…… But one thing is true he had no friends…..”
I start to wonder, how would the man himself have responded to such an question. Would he even have understood what “homosexuality” meant as we see it today? Was it a term so freely used as we do – homosexual, hetrosexual, bisexual.. Of course the term gay didn’t even exist in his time.
One has to remember that Leonardo lived in a time that saw drastic changes in the culture. There was at one extreme the promotion of free will by Lorenzo the Magnificent and at the same time the peak of Savanarola’s moral fanatiscm. A time where there was celebration of human beauty and paganism, quickly followed by denunciation of everything art and luxury.. And a time where as many as 14000 people were prosecuted for practicing sodomy.
There is an account of Leonardo being called for a trail and mysteriously left off the hook. But he was a man who was cutting open dead bodies which was not a very common practice at that time. Moreover it was a time when people can be sent to trail on terms that they never committed.
The man himself.. if asked such a question and if he had had any indulgences with men..he would have responded with silence..
So, why ask this question now? Does he being an publicly homosexual make it easier on any of the present day homosexuals or the future homosexuals?
Well, I was almost tempted to respond on the Orkut community with “I don’t know”, but remained silent…