New LGBT Tour Focuses on the “Untold History” of the Vatican

Right at the Pope’s doorstep, the Vatican is now the site of a gay-themed exploration of art history through its “Untold History” tour. If you think you’re in-the-know about the significance of the Catholic headquarters, take another look. Quikky, an LGBT-friendly travel company, now offers a look into the back story of the Vatican’s immeasurably historic collection.

Thanks to the Catholic church’s habit of art-hoarding throughout history: Quikky’s tour features the gay history of some of the world’s most famous and notable works of art. From the sculptures on view to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the physicality of the pieces and paintings takes a turn from the traditional art history when looking at both the creations and creators in a very different way. For example, while not documented, Michelangelo is thought to have been gay. This puts the almost-erotic images on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling into a new light. Even though the Catholic Church is quick to dismiss their famed ceiling as a sensual scene that sprung from the mind and hands of a gay man, the notion is controversial enough to put it at the forefront during this tour.

Creation of Adam

Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam

The tour guide provides the audience with an overview of the artwork, a brief primer on Michelangelo’s way of painting the human body and points out the ‘hidden’ sexual aspects of the painting that aren’t on typical tours. The tour also features commentary on the role that homosexuality played in the Renaissance and its art.

Even though the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling and other works within the Vatican’s collection are spiritual in nature, they are also sensual and physical as well. The new tour aims to give viewers a new look at the art, from the point of view that it was made by a gay man or made with an intended gay focus to it. Despite the fact that Quikky’s focus is gay travel and touring, the company notes on its website that the gay-friendly Vatican tour is not an exclusively for LGBT viewers.

The “Untold History” of the Vatican isn’t the only gay-friendly art-themed tour that Quikky offers. The travel company also features a Milan and Leonardo da Vinci tour. This includes visiting numerous sites across the city that were meaningful or important in da Vinci’s life as well as exploring the close relationship that the artist had with his disciple Gian Giacomo Caprotti aka Salaì. Whose most notable work Monna Vanna is known best as a nude version of Mona Lisa, and which may be based on a lost nude by Leonardo.

Monna Vanna

Monna Vanna by Gian Giacomo Caprotti


About the Author

Erica Loop has a BA in the history of art and architecture as well as film studies. She has worked for the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Ms. Loop has taught studio-based art classes for children from toddlers to teens for the past decade along with writing freelance content across the web.