Last Judgement (Michelangelo) Easter Egg - Mike Gave Them Hell

In Michelangelo's painting, The Last Judgment (in the Sistine Chapel), the gates of Hell at the bottom of the painting were put right behind the pulpit, where the Pope stood to give Mass. Also, St. Bartholomew (below and to the right of Christ)
is a portrait of the Pope's friend, Agustino, and the skin he is holding is the artist's self-portrait. Why did Michelangelo do this, you might ask? Because Agustino, a well-known author of a series or pornographic books, convinced the Pope that Michelangelo's nudes were obscene, and that the artist should paint drapes over their, ahem, unmentionables. Needless to say, the Pope went along with his friend's requests and demanded that Michelangelo cover up his nudes, and since he declined, they had to get a student of his to do it after the painting was done. Since Agustino was protected by the Pope, and the Pope was very powerful at the time, the only way that Michelangelo could get back at them was through use of blatant imagery, as we see here. So, Mike liter

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Contributed By: Nightshade on 05-15-2001
Reviewed By: Webmaster
Special Requirements: Copy of the painting
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Last Judgement (Michelangelo)
Last Judgement (Michelangelo)

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Comments

Michael writes:
You have the story a little mixed up. The Papal official who objected to all the nudity was a certain Monsignor Biaggio Da Casena. Michelangelo got his revenge by painting him as one of the demons in hell. (He's the one with the ears of a donkey in the lower left hand corner of painting.) Upset at this insult, he complained to the Pope telling him that Michelangelo had placed him on hell. the old Pope, who apparently had a sense of humor, is reported to have said," Ah, you are in hell. That is too bad. If you were in purgatory, I could help you. But even I can't get you out of hell." If you check this out, you will find that this is the more accurate account of what happened. The nude figures were painted over by a later painter on the orders of a later (and more puritanical) pope. You are correct that Michelangelo painted his own face on the sack of skin being held by St. Bartholomew.
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Zipperjj writes:
Here's a good picture of this part of the painting: http://www.christusrex.org/www1/sistine/40j-E.jpg
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Tysh writes:
not as interesting as the fact that saint Bartholomew, who is shown as just the skin (as he was flayed alive) has the self-portrait face of Michaelangelo. Also, Michaelangelo did not want to paint the chapel. He said he was a sculptor among other things, not a painter. Unfortunately the Pope was a big more influential. The time in which is was executed is the incredible part, except for the last wall, the gates, which came after a large turning point in his life relative to how he viewed Christianity that is easily visible in a comparison to other parts of chapel.
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andyskitten writes:
Monsignor Biaggio Da Casena was also painted with a snake biting his testicals. Ouch.
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8-bit kid writes:
Agustino, I believe, was a Cardinal who lived in Rome. I believe he is NOT a well known author of pornographic books.
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Jackleber writes:
http://luciano.stanford.edu/~fred/trip/Rome/sw.jpg Much larger picture. Different colours though, is it a remake or something?
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