Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Great Art Cover-Up: Renaissance Nudity Still Has Power to Shock

THE GUARDIAN 
By Jonathon Jones
Michelangelo’s statue of the Risen Christ in Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, with a loincloth added after Michelangelo’s death. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
Religion turned against the sexual freedom of Renaissance art. When it was unveiled in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s Last Judgment was accused of being more fit for a gay bathhouse than the Pope’s church. As soon as Michelangelo died, a painter was hired to cover the buttocks of his flying nudes with “decent” draperies. Many of these idiotic veilings are still there – the Vatican has not allowed modern restorers to remove them. The same goes for Michelangelo’s statue of the Risen Christ in Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, which wears a ridiculous loincloth added after Michelangelo’s death. It’s all gratifying proof of the power and life of great art. The Renaissance is still dangerous after all these years. Just ask its censorious enemies. [link]

Agnolo Bronzino, An Allegory with Venus and Cupid, as it was meant to be seen. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo