No Tim, the gay issue does not create any issues for me. What I meant by that was that the two (Jesus and the other person) were obviously in love according to the way I see the fresco.
And what leads you to that conclusion? What about this is "obvious" to you?
If they were in love and it was John it would have been a gay love affair, would it not?
I suppose so, but conversely, if it's John and they're not in love then it's not a gay love affair, true? So I'll be interested to know how you discern "love" in that grouping. By the way, it is more common to see in other paintings of the same theme from that period the effeminate figure of John with his head laying on the shoulder, chest, or in the lap of Jesus. That would seem a more blatant depiction of "gay love", would it not? And yet no one to my knowledge has ever taken issue with that posture, either citing it as a sign of a romantic relationship or that John was, in fact, a woman. I suppose because then no one could convincingly claim that Leonardo's rendition was that unique, or that a great secret lay at the center of it.
What I see in da Vinci's work though, is a woman. I know it has been restored several times and the colors muted, but what I see now is what is important (IMHO).
I'd wager you see this because at some point in the last 15 to 20 years you read a book that suggested the figure was female and it made sense to you on some level. Perhaps not on a very informed level, however.
There is another point that I had thought interesting. One obvious way to almost prove this is a woman or not would be to look at the feet as a woman would probably have shorter legs and certainly smaller feet, but someone has cut a door into the fresco where the feet would have shown, why? I know that you will say because they wanted a door there, but remember this was one of the most important artworks in history. btw, I do hope you don't bail, I read, and am interested in every post you make.---Bill
It would be rather difficult to judge the length on the legs of anyone in that painting as they're all seated. However, if you scroll up and look at the Tongerlo copy you can see what the original looked like before it started disintegrating, and before the doorway was widened (due to the fact that in Leonardo's time one had to stoop to go through it). John has feet. They all have feet. And though partially obscured by a table leg, John's big toe and second and third toes are as big as anyone else's. Nothing dainty about this boy's pedal digits.
By the way, when that doorway was enlarged in 1652, this was formerly
one of the most important artworks in history. By 1652 it was in pretty sad shape.