Leonardo da Vinci, the painter of such iconic masterpieces as The Last Supper and The Mona Lisa, was almost certainly gay. He had male lovers and likely never had sex with women, but popular culture continues to insist he was straight.
“I think he needs to be reclaimed,” says Ross King, author of the spellbinding book Leonardo and the Last Supper.
King’s book, which focuses on the painting of The Last Supper, won the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction and is up for the Charles Taylor Prize, which will be awarded in Toronto on March 4.
Ross says that the portrayal of da Vinci as straight — in The Da Vinci Code, for instance — is done “against all historical evidence.”