Defacement in the Chapel!Trivia brain teasers have some element of trivia in them, but they are not just pure trivia questions.
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?
HintIt's in the Sistine Chapel...
AnswerThe 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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