Getting Up Close with Michelangelo

Waldemar Januszczak has written an article for The Times describing the time he got chance to get a lot closer than most of us ever will to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, as painted by Michelangelo. Actually, he may have got a bit closer than you’d want to get…

You know that famous Adam on the Sistine Chapel ceiling whose fingers are nearly touching God’s but not quite? Well, I’ve stroked him. I’ve run my hand along his naked body, and I’ve slapped that big, muscled thigh of his. Not a hard slap, mind you. Just a soft slap of affection that ended on a rub. I’ve even stroked his sweet little willy. I know I shouldn’t have done. But I couldn’t stop myself.

Maybe a little more restraint would have been nice, but that lack of restraint has lead to some interesting insights into one of the greatest works of art in history…

I also enjoyed his sense of humour, which, from close up, turned out to be refreshingly puerile. If you look closely at the angels who attend the scary prophetess on the Sistine ceiling known as the Cumaean Sibyl, you will see that one of them has stuck his thumb between his fingers in that mysteriously obscene gesture that visiting fans are still treated to today at Italian football matches. It means something along the lines of: how would you like this inserted into your rectum, ragazzo?

I could also now tell you how many brush strokes are involved in painting Adam’s penis, but I won’t – you’ll have to read the full article on The Times’ site for that…