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Art: Classical
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Classical Art
Ancient Greek and Roman art represents a variety of homoerotic experience in several different ways.
Patronage I: The Western World from Ancient Greece until 1900
Patronage--the sponsorship of artists and the commissioning of artistic projects from them--is of central importance to %%queer%% cultural history.
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: 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 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: 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: 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.

 

 

 
 
 
 
Popular Topics in The Arts
Nyad, Diana Nyad, Diana
Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
 
Dattani, Mahesh
Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
 
Baker, Josephine Baker, Josephine
Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
 
Cadmus, Paul Cadmus, Paul
American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.
 
Caja, Jerome
San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.
 
Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
 
Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
 
Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
 
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