Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Italy Blog #57: Last Judgement Painting, Terrible Pope's Blackmail, Michelangelo's Revenge

In this blog about our Italy trip, we were still in Rome (it was May 2013) and we visited the Sistine Chapel (yesterday's blog). Today we'll take a close look at the famous Michelangelo painting called "The Last Judgement" that depicts hell. The painting is on the Altar wall of the Sistine Chapel. We'll explain about the terrible Pope's blackmail and Michelangelo's awesome revenge.

The Terrible Pope - Our guide told us that Michelangelo was blackmailed by Pope Julius II  (elected in 1502) to paint it and the frescoes. Pope Julius II was egotistical. He created the biggest tomb at the time for himself, because he said he deserved it.

Right: the Donkey-eared Hell dweller with the Pope's assistant's face
Blackmailing of Michelangelo - Pope Julius II threatened to "destroy his career" if Michelangelo refused to paint inside the Sistine Chapel. (We think that he was likely implying he'd "out" Michelangelo as being gay.). So, Michelangelo gave in and from 1508 to 1512 he painted the chapel's ceiling. We were told that the Pope's assistant who passed along the threat was especially nasty, so keep that in mind.

Michelangelo's Revenge (Fun Facts) - Never piss off a gay artist. That's what we learned here. In the "Last Judgement" painting Michelangelo decided to get back at the Pope, his assistant and others who were nasty to him. So, he painted the Pope's assistant's face as a figure in Hell with Donkey Ears!  In the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he included Jewish history, much to the pope's dismay.

The bottom line - don't try to blackmail a gay artist and then ask him to paint a public masterpiece for you. :)

FAST FACT- The Sistine Chapel was built by Sistos and completed when Michelangelo was just 5 years old.

NEXT  -The Vatican's "Fig-Leaf Campaign" or "Hide the Penis" 

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

I'm a simple guy who enjoys the simple things in life, especially our dogs. I volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy exercising, blogging, politics, helping friends and neighbors, participating in ghost investigations, coffee, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country music,writing books on ghosts and spirits, cooking simply and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.