During the Renaissance, the great homosexuals, from Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli to Michelangelo and Raphael, transformed the history of art, attaining to ever closer imitation of nature whilst altering it to their taste. From their art, ambiguous beings were born, half man, half woman; female breasts were planted on male busts and a young man's gaze peeped out beneath the eyelids of a Madonna. From his earliest youth, Michelangelo never ceased to suffer, and thereby to create. He attempted to reconcile the apparently conflicting forces that inhabited him: earthly passions and fear of God. Hence the edifice devoted to beauty, celestial and infernal alike, that Michelangelo raised to the glory of God. It has no equivalent nor descendance. His predecessors aspired to Heaven through faith alone; Michelangelo sought to rise through the contemplative exaltation of beauty. His passions found expression in the human body as it emerged from the Creator's hand. And they did so even on the ceiling of a papal chapel: the Sistine.This exposed him to a chorus of derision from prudish critics, who accused him of exhibiting paganism in a place of religion, and who clothed his immodest Titans in painted "breeches". It was Michelangelo's curse to remain a colossus outside and apart from his time.