Written yet unspoken, only the faded ink on archived paper knows the depth of these lovers. Although we can only speculate as to the true nature of their partnership, one thing which can be undisputed is that Michelangelo felt a powerful emotion for one particular man, enough to inspire some of the most beautiful love sonnets we have had the pleasure of reading. Michelangelo was not one half of a couple in the traditional sense, this is true. But what inspires us is the creative energy that the pairing of Michelangelo and Tommaso dei Cavalieri gave rise to.
Love speaks between souls in many ways. It takes on the guise of physical, sexual, intellectual and platonic love. All forms are true, all are love in its many shapes.
John Addington Symonds, English poet and critic, devoted much time to researching the sonnets written by Michelangelo to the younger Cavalieri. Symonds referred to the love between men as an “impossible love” which rings true for the painter, who perhaps had he been born in another era would have had his love celebrated not speculated. The unspoken language of forbidden love into sonnets leaves no question as to whether love was present in Michelangelo’s life. Symonds reconstructed these sonnets, restoring the male pronouns (which had been edited to female in previous incarnations) and thus restored the integrity of the love between men. Creative love between artist and muse speaks to us in the many languages of art.
Main Photo Credit: Photo: Aurelio Amendola/FMR http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/05/30/arts/20080531_MICHEL_SLIDESHOW_6.html
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