Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Want To Become A Legend? Paint A Dome!

On this day in 1512, Michelangelo’s artwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome was unveiled to the public. Other than “ouch, it hurts thy neck to look straight up at thine painting,” the thing most overheard that day was “woweth, how’deth he doeth thateth and is thee not wearing any pants in thy painting where thee toucheth God?”

There are many facts about the frescoes (isn’t that a Starbuck’s drink?) that adorn the Chapel’s ceiling which most people probably aren’t aware of. The real facts concerning the creation of the paintings have been kept from us for almost 500 years.

My research is a little sketchy, but I wanted to share the history I’ve uncovered with you all. What most folks don’t know is that Michelangelo (who preferred to go by Mikey, which is much easier to type than Michelangelo) wasn’t as much invited by the Vatican to paint the ceiling as he was told to paint the ceiling. It turns out that Mikey had been chasing this real hot chick around Rome named Mona. Mona (or Ms. Lisa if you didn’t know her very well) snubbed Mikey and chose to court this cat named Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo got to paint her, which broke Mikey’s heart. To deal with his grief, Mikey took to tagging all public walls in and around Rome. Instead of facing inquisition, (nobody expects the Spanish inquisition, even though it’s in Rome) Mikey accepted several hundred hours of community service by putting his artistic prowess to good use. His community service was being forced to look upwards for several years while painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. A few years earlier, all of the white puffy and powdery acoustic ceiling had been removed from the Chapel and it looked pretty bad, so the timing couldn’t have been better.

By painting the ceiling, not only did Mikey avoid jail time, he was also able to prove to his true unrequited love Mona that he too was a great artist. As Michelangelo was quoted as saying late in his life, “comeuppance is sweeter to thee than true love lost, especially when it is accomplished with thine own brush. Ha Ha He He Ho Ho!”

Anyone who has ever bought paint at Home Depot on the weekend with thoughts of repainting the family room quickly can attest to what a phenomenal achievement Mikey’s painting of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling really was. Heck, I can’t even paint around a light switch or door jam! Of course later in his life, Michelangelo was plagued by debilitating shoulder and neck pain and hundreds of people visiting the Sistine Chapel have been injured by walking into pews or other churchly objects while walking through the Chapel while looking straight up.

Sadly, on this anniversary of such an artistic masterpiece comes talk of a major change to the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. A Chapel official was quoted as saying, “You know, change is a good thing and since our patrons have been viewing the same thing for almost 500 years, we figure it’s time for something different to adorn our beloved ceiling. The fame of the Sistine Chapel has made it one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations but we are still seeing a decline in the amount of financial offerings to our church. Therefore we are taking advantage of the most popular ceiling ever, which is prime advertising space by the way, and replacing Michelangelo’s work with a large stadium-type TV screen and LCD text ribbon, similar to the one in New York's Times Square,” he added.

The new screen will be called Sistine-Vision and church officials hope it will raise millions per year in ad revenue. Major international corporations like Coca-Cola, Nike and McDonalds are already considering purchasing ad space. Paint chips of Michelangelo’s work will be saved and auctioned off on E-Bay and by Sotheby’s auction house to fund Sistine-Vision’s construction. Plans are to have construction completed by 2009. Just think that 500 years from now we’ll be celebrating the anniversary of the unveiling of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling all over again. There’s that circle of life thing at work again!


Odat said...

Poor Mickey A. But I suppose nothing can stand in the way of progress. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Maybe they can put a screen saver of the ceiling on the "Sitine-Vision" screen. That way, we'll all remember what was there.'

Aisby said...

They can do a laser show of the old ceiling at night over the Coke and Nike advertisements. No one would know the difference...

mist1 said...

I am going to bid on the paint chip that looks like the Virgin Mother.

Captain Great said...

You can't stop progress!

And in fifty years all the 2006 Coca Cola signs and Nike ads will be nostalgic, kitsch and historical.

The art cycle continues!

Lizza said...

Nooooo!!! Bite your keyboard! But if it does happen, send me the part of the ceiling that doesn't have a fig leaf strategically placed on it.

ShadowFalcon said...

After queing for a million hours in Vatican city we finally saw the incredible sistine chaple and it really breath taking, the only problem was I got dizzy staring at the ceiling and had to leave... :-( the worst part - I actually think the corridor leading up the chapel is in someways more impressive.

Meloncutter said...

Recent examinations of the Mona Lisa indicate that she was pregnant at the time of the painting. How they determined this from just a lazer scan I will never know, Maybe they put a rabbit next to the lazer and it died. But I think now that you revealed Mikey's case of the hots we may be getting on to the rest of the story.

Keep digging.

Later Y'all

Empress Bee said...

welleth, since i am going there later this month i hop-eth it is still-eth intact and not wearing any pants so i can see-eth a little something-eth.

oh my word, did i say that?(she blushes).... naw - that's a lie, this crusty old broad would never blush seeing a "little something" if you know what i mean.

but i really am going there....bee

Bird on a Wire said...

When are they installing the slots and the craps table?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Can the Vatican Theme Park be far behind? Oh, wait. That IS the Vatican Theme Park.

There will be a Ride-The-Altarboy ride, and a Punch-The-Pope with tennis balls -- if you get one in his open mouth, you win a plastic Shroud of Turin replica.

I know, I'm going to Hell now. The devil made me do it.

This was really quite informative, Michael. Your scholarship will benefit mankind and the art world for centuries to come.

The ceiling is a miracle. Heaven forfend they change anything.

Violet said...

It's not a completely bad idea y'know. 'Cos we're not all big fans of Renaissance art, eh?

If you can't give in to the lowest common denominator, you're not going to make enough money to build churches.

Lee said...

Ugh...that's too depressing to comprehend. I can't think about it!