Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Italy Blog #58: The Vatican's "Fig Leaf Campaign"

In this blog we'll tell you how the Catholic Church and the Vatican decided to destroy ancient paintings and sculptures with their ridiculous "Fig Leaf Campaign" - otherwise known as "Hide the penis."
    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
   In fact, our friend Pat said that when she was visiting the Vatican one year, the museum curators actually found a "box of stone penises" from the vandalized statues.

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.


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

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next