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Subjects of the Visual Arts
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Subjects of the Visual Arts: Androgyny
A figure of uncertain gender in whom identifying sexual characteristics are stylized or combined, the androgyne is a significant and recurrent subject in art, one that has often held special significance for glbtq people.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Bathing Scenes
A common theme in painting since the Renaissance, bathing scenes are often suffused with a distinctly homosexual atmosphere.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Bicycles
Bicycles, introduced in Europe around 1863, were the first democratic means of transportation, and soon became both a means and a symbol of women's liberation.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: David and Jonathan
It is not surprising, since the Bible insists that David be looked at and admired, that he should emerge in Western art as the incarnation of male physical attractiveness, especially as rendered by Michelangelo.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Diana
The goddess of chastity, Diana is frequently depicted with nymphs lovingly caring for her body, thus enacting a considerable degree of physical intimacy.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Dildoes
Women with dildoes, often strapped on, are represented in many cultures and in most periods of European art.
Subjects in the Visual Arts: Dionysus
The Greek god of wine, revelry, and orgiastic delights, and the patron god of hermaphrodites and transvestites, Dionysus has been extremely popular as a subject of Western art.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Endymion
Endymion is frequently represented in art as an exemplar of male physical beauty, youthful innocence, and sexual accessibility.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Ganymede
Since antiquity Ganymede, the beautiful Phrygian youth abducted by Jupiter, has served as an artistic expression for homosexuality.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Harmodius and Aristogeiton
Athenian lovers Harmodius and Aristogeiton were remembered in ancient Greece as the great tyrannicides and celebrated as lovers, patriots, and martyrs.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Hercules
A complex and multivalent character, Hercules is an exemplary hero whose myths remind us that a supreme manifestation of virility and physicality can also encompass sexual deeds outside the heteronormative.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Hermaphrodites
Hermaphrodites are a common subject in ancient art, but disappear from art history until the Renaissance, when they are most often employed as non-erotic symbols of the union of opposites.
Subjects in the Visual Arts: Narcissus
Although the myth of Narcissus was originally intended as a moral fable against excessive pride, Narcissus has functioned in the arts as a symbol of same-sex passion, as well as of masturbation and effeminacy.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Nude Females
While nude depictions of women appear in most cultures, on both sides of the equator, and in rich variety, lesbian artists have been particularly resourceful in their use of the female nude.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Nude Males
Throughout much of history, the nude male figure was virtually the only subject that could be used to articulate homoerotic desire in publicly displayed works of art, as well as those works of art intended for private "consumption."
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Orpheus
Although most artists since the Hellenistic age ignore the homosexual aspect of Orpheus, depicting him instead as the classical pattern of the poet-musician, notable exceptions are Colard Mansion and Albrecht Dürer.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Priapus
A Phrygian fertility god whose cult spread throughout the Hellenistic world and usually depicted with enormous genitals, Priapus was the patron of all in need of luck, especially men and women in search of sexual satisfaction.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Psyche
The story of Psyche, a late addition to Olympian divinities, is often interpreted as an allegory of the human confrontation with desire and the divine; although universal, it has had particular resonance for glbtq people.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Sailors and Soldiers
Soldiers and sailors constitute a long-standing presence in gay male visual culture.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Sex Workers
Although art historians have given very little attention to representations of sex workers, images of same-sex prostitution extend far back into history.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: St. Sebastian
Sebastian's broad and long-standing presence in queer artistic production suggests that he functions as an emblem of the feelings of shame, rejection, inverted desire, and loneliness endured by queer people in a homophobic society.
Subjects of the Visual Arts: Vampires
From its inception in the nineteenth century, the artistic vampire has been linked with homosexuality, a connection that has been explored in a number of films.

 

 

 
 
 
 
Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
 
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There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
 
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Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
 
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The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
 
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
 
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
 
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
 
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
 
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