I’m not sure how nobody saw it before, but Michelangelo’s beautiful paintings like “The Last Judgment” were supposedly inspired by the artist’s visits to bathhouses. His Sistine Chapel frescos, replete with naked dudes pointing fingers at each other, originated in the 16th century sex scene in Rome, claims University of Pisa researcher Elena Lazzarini.
“The figures descending to hell and ascending to heaven are inspired by the virile, muscular manual workers and porters Michelangelo would have seen during his visits to the baths, which are well documented,” says Lazzarini. “It was here he defined the build of the working man as the ideal physique.”
Lazzarini pointed out that in the painting, which spans an entire wall of the chapel where papal conclaves are held, one of the damned is being dragged down to hell by his testicles while men heading for heaven hug and kiss “in an ambiguous fashion”. “Such scenes could have been inspired by the visits to the baths,” she said.
Not that Christ & Co. need to feel gross or anything.
Antonio Paolucci, the director of the Vatican Museums, said Lazzarini’s theory was no cause for embarrassment to the Holy See. “It’s entirely possible and it changes nothing,” he said. “Michelangelo studied the human form everywhere, including in hospitals. And that passion for the human body, particularly male, remains unchanged. If there was any embarrassment it was at the time, not now.”
How long before Roman Catholic priests levy that excuse to explain why they’re cruising Manhunt and frequenting the day spas?