In the Vatican Museum all of male statues from ancient Greece and Rome either had their penises covered by a fig leaf or they were cut off.
|Before and after restoration: Expulsion from Eden|
WHAT WAS THE "FIG-LEAF CAMPAIGN"? - From about 1530, the developing reaction to Renaissance freedoms and excesses that led to the Council of Trent (was one of the Roman Catholic Church's most important ecumenical councils) also led to a number of artworks, especially in churches or public places, being altered to reduce the amount of nudity on display. Often, as in the famous case of Michelangelo's The Last Judgement, drapery or extra branches from any nearby bush was used. This has been dubbed the "fig leaf campaign". For free-standing statues this did not work well, and carved or cast fig leaves were sometimes added, such as with the plaster copy of Michelangelo's David displayed in Victorian era London.
GARDEN OF EDEN COVER-UP -The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, by Masaccio, before
and after restoration. It was painted in 1425, covered up in 1680, and restored in 1980.
|Roman God Mercury's privates covered with a fig leaf|
MERCURY GOD OF SPEED COVERED UP -A statue of Mercury holding the caduceus in the Vatican, with a fig leaf placed over the genitalia. The chaste" Popes; later, most such coverings were removed.
HERCULES LOSES HIS STUFF- We took the photo below of a statue of Hercules. It may be difficult to see, but his "stuff" was actually chiseled off during that ridiculous "fig leaf campaign." We guess it was in the box of penises that the Vatican museum found when our friend was visiting.
NEXT: ST. PETER'S BASILICA, PIETA AND DEAD POPES