Stuff I Didn’t Used to Know About Art – part one

  1. 14th century art is all about the plague! And the little Ice Age in Europe. And the ensuing crop failures and famine. The 14th century sucked.
Rottgen Pieta c. 1305

Rottgen Pieta
c. 1300-1325

  1. Classical sculptures have little penises for a reason: in ancient Greece and Rome, a small penis was admired as the sign of a rational, logical man. Large penises were considered gross and an indicator of lewdness and poor impulse control. Odes were written to small penises.
Need I say more?

Need I say more?

  1. David is a sexy guy. No matter what his penis looks like:

  1. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, women weren’t allowed to apprentice as painters, or join workshops, or study cadavers, or draw from nude models. So almost all of the women who made a place for themselves as artists were self-taught or taught by family. Portraits and still lifes. But not from Artemisia Gentileschi! (Google her!) She channeled plenty of anger into her narrative paintings.
Artemisia Gentileschi Judith Beheading Holofernes c. 1614-1620

Artemisia Gentileschi
Judith Beheading Holofernes
c. 1614-1620

  1. Michelangelo stood on scaffolding to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. He did not lie down. Nonetheless, he suffered bad health for the rest of his life from inhaling and swallowing paint and plaster dust. He tried to get out of doing the ceiling, by telling the Pope that he was a sculptor, but the Pope was influenced by his architect, Bramante, who was jealous of Michelangelo and hoped he would fail. FYI – he didn’t.
Michelangelo's Creation of Adam c. 1508-1512

Michelangelo’s
Creation of Adam
c. 1508-1512

My thanks to Sandra Jeknavorian and Three Rivers Community College for letting me teach Art History Survey II.  I am learning many weird art facts.  Stay tuned for more!

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