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More ways to get Braingle...

Defacement in the Chapel!

Trivia brain teasers have some element of trivia in them, but they are not just pure trivia questions.

 

Puzzle ID:#41499
Fun:*** (2.87)
Difficulty:*** (2.57)
Category:Trivia
Submitted By:Hrsemn4Aus****mod

 

 

 



Art is to be appreciated from afar, rarely touched, and certainly never altered from the artist's original vision. One would never pencil in eyebrows on the Mona Lisa or dare to bolt mannequin arms to the Venus de Milo.

Yet, despite all this, there is a well-known piece of art that has been blatantly defaced. What is even stranger is that the offending defacer, though he meant to do his nasty work, did not WANT to. His identity was known, yet he was never arrested and never punished. Quite the opposite, his defacement was encouraged by the highest of powers in his day.

What is the piece of art?



Answer

The work in question is Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" in the Sistine Chapel. The fresco depicts the Earth, Heaven, and Hell. The figures are of various saints, all bearing the instruments of their deaths.

These figures, each and every one, is entirely nude. Or at least they WERE. Michelangelo originally painted every figure completely naked, saying that in the end times the fresco represents, there would be no secrets, nothing would be unknown.

These nude figures caused quite a stir even before the final masterpiece was revealed. Many called it shocking and obscene, but it wasn't until 23 years later that anything was done. Pope Pius IV brought in Daniele da Volterra, one of Michelangelo's students, against his will to cover up the objectionable parts with painted cloths.

Some of the cloths have since been professionally removed, but the debate over the decency of the painting continues to this day.

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Comments

NedphoenixAus*
Apr 14, 2008

Had an idea of what you were getting at, but not the specific art. Interesting explanation, I didn't know that. Thanks.
Dontrelle*
Apr 25, 2008

Wow, great job! I had fun reading it although I have no clue when it comes to art.
shmortcakerzAus
May 06, 2008

Wow I didn't know that. Thanks for posting this.
pn_16A*
May 08, 2008

cool, i learned something...
dodger*gb*
May 15, 2008

As a fine art teacher i got it right away, but it's one of those rare riddles that i wish i'd written myself.

I'm adding to my favs. Great job
AndrewWalkerAfi*
Jul 04, 2008

How could they, art is art!!!
dancingd3Aus*
Jan 22, 2009

I agree with AndrewWalker, but still that is a hard decision to make. Yes, its very old, and priceless and should be left unchanged, so that future generations can see its original beauty, but I can see where the pope was coming from. I'm sure there are many field trips and other events that take place in the Sistine Chapel, and you wouldn't want children seeing that. Really good question, I learned something. Maybe I can tell my art teacher next class!
Lil_Dork*ca*
May 16, 2009

cool
bradon182001*us*
Jan 08, 2011

Wonderful teaser. Learned something today I had never heard before. Thanks for posting.
Babe*
Jul 14, 2012

Very informative and interesting, but what makes it a teaser?
cutebugAus*
Jul 14, 2012

Babe-You are being teased to see if you know the answer, so that makes it a teaser.
By the way,I knew the answer.
sbuskeAus*
Jul 14, 2012

I thought Mt. Rushmore, and the culprit was the wind.
Oh, and art is art. If you don't want your children seeing nudes, shield them from one of the most important historical humanities. idiots.
bestgirl*
Jul 14, 2012

It was interesting, and on the nudity, I totally agree with Sbuske.



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