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Art: European
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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: 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: Sappho
Despite Sappho's status as most ancient lesbian foremother, her image is almost entirely absent from modern and contemporary lesbian art.
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.
Surrealism
An artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after World War I, Surrealism embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.
Symbolists
The symbolist movement in painting and literature, which flourished in Europe from 1886 to 1905, was the first self-consciously queer movement in Western art history.
Tchelitchew, Pavel
Russian-born painter, sculptor, and set designer Pavel Tchelitchew created a number of works that illustrate homoerotic desire.
Tillmans, Wolfgang
An important contemporary photographer, Wolfgang Tillmans synthesizes classic photographic genres, but has also pioneered in his photographic installations by utilizing innovative methods of presentation.
Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen)
Defiantly rejecting the invisibility, homophobia, and indignities of pre-Stonewall life, the men in Tom of Finland's drawings reflect a hyper-masculine, working-class version of homosexual manhood that proved important to the emerging gay rights movement.
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