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Trail

LGBT+ Art and Artists

A look at diverse forms of love and desire through works in the Royal Collection

Painting of two people fencing, one man is dressed as a woman

To celebrate Pride month we are exploring a range of LGBT+ stories in the Royal Collection. Diverse forms of love and identity have always existed, but LGBT+ experiences have often been left out of history or rewritten entirely. This trail represents that diversity, and celebrates LGBT+ identities across different periods and cultures.  

The terms we use today to talk about LGBT+ identities did not exist in the past – many of the individuals represented in the trail would not have identified as LGBT+. Where possible, the language employed by the artist or sitters to define themselves has been used alongside their own writing, diary entries and letters. Their words give voice to a long history of diverse desire. 

Select an object below

William Theed (1804-91)

Sappho

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

The head of a youth

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Caprese 1475-Rome 1564)

Recto: The Fall of Phaethon. Verso: a woman and a study for an ear

Rosa Bonheur (1822-99)

Donkey

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Poems

Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962)

A Note of explanation

Tuke, Henry Scott (1858-1929)

Two men in rowing boat

David Hockney (b. 1937)

Self-Portrait, 6 April 2012