Some of the most famous, poetry, sculpture, painting & architecture in the world was created by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, who spent most of his lengthy career creating monumental works of art for 7 consecutive Popes. Regarded as the greatest living artist of his day, he remains one of the impressive artists of all time. Among his creations: the Pieta, David ,the Sistine Chapel, the Laurentian Library, the Last Judgment, St. Peter's Basilica. The Renaissance painter & sculptor whose frescoes adorn the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican was put in charge of the restoration of St. Peter’s by Pope Paul III in 1546, a job he held until his death in 1564. His greatest contribution to the basilica is its central dome or cupola, a universally acknowledged architectural triumph.
Michelangelo wrote 48 epigrams commemorating the adoration of his young lover Cecchino dei Bracci who died at age 16. The drawings, with legs spread wide & thighs for days, are of Tommaso De'Cavalieri, a handsome young nobleman, whom he met in 1532 when he was 57 & Tommaso 23. Michelangelo wrote 300 beautiful, astounding sonnets to him that became a much loved book after his death. Michelangelo wrote love letters & ardent love poems to him and in 1533 sent him a series of erotic drawings, the most famous of which depicts Zeus disguised as an eagle abducting a young Ganymede. In Michelangelo's drawing, the eagle presses its body tightly against the back of the smiling, yielding Ganymede. The drawings, with legs spread wide & the thighs to die for, were likely in the image of Tommaso De'Cavalieri. The 2 men were lovers for over 30 years.
Michelangelo's poems to Cavalieri were extravagant:
“Your name nourishes my heart & soul filing each with such sweetness ... If my eyes had their share of you, only think how happy I would be.” In another he wishes his hairy skin to be made into a breastplate for Tommaso & “Were I two slippers he could own & use as base to his majestic weight, I would enjoy two snowy feet at least.”
“If I must be defeated to be blessed,
Don't marvel that one, naked & alone,
should prove a prisoner of an armored knight.
The love I speak of aspires to the heights;
woman is too dissimilar, & it ill becomes
a wise & manly heart to burn for her.”
Michelangelo seems to have more inhibited about his sexuality than Leonardo da Vinci, but Leonardo lived in Florence & Michelangelo in Rome, a generation later, & the time & place were not as permissive.