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Casual sex on the Thames river towpath


A relationship with Claudio Corvaja
Brian Sewell Writer
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Well, of course, one of the advantages of leaving Christie’s was that I had rather more leisure, and I had a boyfriend… I’d had… Claudio was Sicilian. He came from Taormina, and was intensely proud of being the very last of a family that had lived in Taormina for a thousand years. The Corvajas. 'I am the last of the Corvajas', which sounds like the kind of line that Dalí might have said, but there we are.

And the only decent old building in the town is indeed the Palazzo Corvaja, which is now the town hall or something of the kind, because when the Risorgimento happened in the middle of the 19th century, the Corvajas of this world were displaced. So there was this enchanting boy, and… oh, I didn’t fall in love with him immediately, but it kind of developed. It was… in the beginning, it was like having somebody else’s dog. You like it well enough, but it isn’t yours. And then gradually Claudio became my dog and then my lover. And then, you know, we were going to spend our lives together. But Claudio was as queer as I was and there were difficulties at home. And he… his father was insisting that Claudio should get married and have children in order to perpetuate the line a little longer, and I think Claudio left and, at least in part, to attempt to do this family thing.

But we were happy for seven years or so together. But I suppose… I never really understand the term oversexed. I think that… I don’t understand the idea of being undersexed. How could one possibly be undersexed? How awful. And if Claudio wasn’t there, then I went off on adventures of my own. And Claudio was away for months on end sometimes.

Born in England, Brian Sewell (1931-2015) was considered to be one of Britain’s most prominent and outspoken art critics. He was educated at the Courtauld Institute of Art and subsequently became an art critic for the London Evening Standard; he received numerous awards for his work in journalism. Sewell also presented several television documentaries, including an arts travelogue called The Naked Pilgrim in 2003. He talked candidly about the prejudice he endured because of his sexuality.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Palazzo Corvaja, Palazzo Corvaia, Sicily, Taormina, Risorgimento, Salvador Dalí, Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Claudio Corvaja

Duration: 2 minutes, 48 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2013

Date story went live: 04 July 2013