Before The Da Vinci Code, the movie; before the most massive and extended publicity circus that has likely ever surrounded a movie; before Tom Hanks' long hair, before The Da Vinci Code, the book; before Holy Blood, Holy Grail...
...before it all there was Leonardo Da Vinci and The Last Supper, the centerpiece of the current controversy. Certainly one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, The Last Supper is still nothing more than a painting done grudgingly by a grumpy artist in the late 15th Century. It has taken on a mythic quality that has nothing to do with reality, particularly Leonardo's reality.
The evidence most certainly indicates that Leonardo Da Vinci was at best an agnostic and more likely an atheist. First and foremost he was a man of fact and science. And he was most certainly a gay man. In fact, there is no evidence to even remotely suggest that he was anything other than a gay man. Leonardo's life is well documented and yet there is absolutely no evidence of any woman in his life; however it is well documented that he lived with a succession of very beautiful young male apprentices, none of whom had any artistic talent. He is also known to have spent almost 30 years through his death with a young male companion who was known to be something of a trouble maker. Much older famous and very successful man, young beautiful bad boy. Now there's a stretch.
But, of course, Christian history would rather record Leonardo as asexual rather than gay. In fact, the lengths that society will go to in order to avoid discussion of homosexuality is sometimes staggering, especially when it comes to the rich, famous and celebrated. The idea that so much of Western History is a result of the genius and accomplishments of men who were gay is simply not polite conversation.
And as the Da Vinci Code controversy and debate confirms, this remains the case.
In the midst of all this controversy created by Dan Brown's great and very fun read, a movie that apparently sucks, and a bunch of crazy Christians who see their religion under siege by a fictional novel and Tom Hanks, the real Da Vinci code is lost.
Leonardo was sending a clear message that is frustratingly absent from the current nonsensical storm of debate.
Leonardo lived with his loving male partner for some 30 years and this most certainly influenced his work and was reflected in his faces. This is the case with all artists.
Leonardo was, among many things, one of the greatest technicians of all time: the men and women in his masterpieces were always painted with great clarity. He did not accidentally paint a figure that was uncertain in its gender. Any fool can look at the figure of John in The Last Supper and see"her" for what "she" is. And rather than accept the obvious, the world goes Mary Magdalene crazy.
If you sort through all the nonsense and the current avalanche of publicity and debate, you'll find a few honest art history experts who will shrug their shoulders and tell you that Leonardo portrayed John the Apostle as a gay man. And if there was a hidden message in The Last Supper it was that the apostle closest to Jesus, the apostle that Jesus "loved above all others" was a very effeminate man.
Leonardo painted John as very womanly. This is undeniable. Dan Brown and his believers would have you think that although Leonardo called the figure "John", he was secretly painting Mary Magdalene. As always, as if WE don't exist.
While there is no absolute proof of either supposition, the evidence supporting the gay interpretation far outweighs the Mary theory.
So if you push aside the rubbish heap of publicity and controversy based on pure fiction, you're left with a simple reality that is likely nothing more than the obvious to anyone other than a homophobe: John the Apostle, as painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, a gay man, was very pretty and very effeminate, and closest of all the Apostles to Jesus. The conclusions one would logically draw from that are just too horrible for a Christian world that has elevated a 15th Century painting to the status of historical photograph taken at a Passover Seder some 2,000 years ago.
In fact, The Last Supper is nothing more than a brilliant painting done some 1,500 years after the "fact" based on a gay interpretation of the gospels by a very gay, witty and iconoclast genius. Leonardo likely considered the fact that John refers to himself in the gospels as "the disciple who Jesus loved." John is also described in the Gospels as being the one who sat closest to Jesus "on whose chest he leaned." Like any gay man, Leonardo surely saw the implications in this and had his fun at the end of a paint brush.