The friend zone: art, music, films and more about platonic love

From Michelangelo’s male muse to Sex Education’s best pals, we pick five passionate but ultimately chaste partnerships

When he was in his 50s, the Renaissance genius Michelangelo fell in love with a young nobleman called Tommaso dei Cavalieri. This drawing is one of the gifts he gave him: it even has a note asking what Tommaso thinks of it. But Michelangelo also wrote poems in which he insists his love is platonic, drawing on a philosophical conception of love as something that can raise you to the spiritual. Michelangelo knew and understood Plato, even comparing himself with Socrates who Plato says lay all night beside his boyfriend, chastely. Jonathan Jones

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