19th century homoerotic art

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Even has he embraces a woman he reaches back for the boy.

Bridegroom Sad Love

Sappho's lover Erinna is taken from her.

Simeon Solomon

He is significant for glbtq culture, for he chose to live openly as a homosexual at a time when it was not socially acceptable to do so; he wrote an important prose poem that may be read as a defense of male-male desire; and he created works depicting androgynous male figures who are representative of homoerotic love.

Solomon, Simeon (1840-1905)

Simeon Solomon Research Archive


Simeon Solomon (1840-1905) was minor as an artist, gay or not. But what about John Singer Sargent?

Sargent (1856-1925) was a prominent expatriate American artist in fin de siecle Europe who produced portraits of many notables, including the likeness of President Theodore Roosevelt that now hangs in the White House.

Out of the public eye, Sargent evidently led a homosexual lifestyle, showing a predilection for strapping, somewhat swarthy young men like his model/companion, Nicola d’Inverno. As contemporaneous French artist Jacques-Emile Blanche would write, Sargent’s sex life “was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.”

At Sargent’s death, his personal papers were destroyed or “lost”—from then on, history would be forced to speculate about this bachelor. Sargent would even be portrayed by the art establishment as “asexual,” just as, several generations later, Andy Warhol would be. And with an equal lack of conviction.

Sargent produced a portfolio of drawings and paintings that depict, unmistakably, homoerotic males. These works frequently teeter between fine art and soft-core pornography. Consider, especially, “Nude Study of Thomas E. McKeller,” (1917-1920) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Despite the unfortunate sanitizing of Sargent’s correspondence, it isn’t difficult to fill in the blanks of his biography. Asexual? Hah! John Swinger Sargent, more like it.

I posted the Solomon drawings because he is minor. I think there was quite a bit about Sargent’s sexuality in the news last year.

Thanks for adding the above.

As an homoerotic painter, I do love finding what others did before me

I am happy to see so much good work here



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19th century homoerotic art
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