Caravaggio painted male nudes, particularly handsome men and naked saints, but now his work has been classified as that of a ‘normal’ man.
One of the most ‘homoerotic’ painters of all times is now at the center of a debate about his sexuality in Italy.
Italy’s best-selling newspaper, la Repubblica, has released a DVD on Caravaggio, the Renaissance painter, branding him ‘normal, not homosexual.’
‘Caravaggio was not homosexual. He was normal and he killed Ranuccio Tomassoni di Terni because of his love for a woman,’ it claims.
But Italy's LGBT associations have reacted angrily to la Repubblica's claims.
Italian online LGBT community Queerblog is now asking the newspaper to apologize and correct their comments.
Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio, has been widely claimed as ‘homosexual’ because of his portrayal of male nudes. And art critics have long claimed that remarks made by contemporaries, combined with the representation of male eroticism in his paintings, suggest that Caravaggio was bisexual.
Born in 1571 and active in Naples, Rome, Malta and Sicily between 1593 and 1610, his work started the Baroque school of painting.
In 1606 he killed a young man in a brawl and fled from Rome with a price on his head. According to recent studies, the fight had started over a woman.