Thursday, March 13, 2008

Want To Become A Legend? Paint A Dome!

On this day in 1512 (assuming of course that today is November 1st, which it is NOT, but which it WAS when I originally wrote this), 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 (one of my favorite drinks, by the way) 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, possibly because it is 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're nasty) snubbed Mikey and chose to court this cat named Leonardo da Vinci (yes, Lenny D for short). Lenny 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, especially when in Rome, which is where you are supposed to do as the Romans do and not the Spanish, or the Pythons) 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 looking straight up. Though no one has sued yet. I believe this is because it's all religousy and stuff.

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! And yes, in case you were wondering, they are going to put in a Starbucks too.


Anonymous said...

Alternatively, they could leave the painting in place and put in a rollercoaster or maybe bungee jumping inside the chapel. Keep the starbucks but add a McDinalnd's and a deep-fried twinkie stand. Don't forget the souvenir kiosk. A sistine chapel for the new millenium.

meleah rebeccah said...

I had no idea Mikey & Lenny D loathed each other so much. Lisa seems kind of a "ho" to me now.

ps...I cant believe you used the phrase "cat" as to describe a 'dood'....I always use "cat" and people look at me like I am nuts....

Anonymous said...

I used to think that all he did was paint a know, a little white paint. Sure-it was high but whatever....anyone could throw a bit of paint on a surface.

Then I saw a picture of it. And I had to admit he was pretty good.

Open Grove Claudia said...

Really? That's odd. Very odd. First off, the vatican is hardly strapped for cash. Secondly, they make a bundle on people visiting the chapel. How strange... It's hard to imagine it will actually happen since there are rabid conservationalists in Rome.

Patti said...

I didn't realize that Michelangelo and da Vinci spoketh that way. Thanks for the history lesson.

I don't think I know anyone who will be celebrating any anniversary 500 years from now.

kat said...

This was like a bootleg, ghetto art lesson. Thank you for the culture.

And.... ALL CAUGHT UP again! Yay!

Selma said...

First stop the Sistine Chapel, next stop the Louvre - they really need a Starbucks in there. And all that priceless art, talk about same old, same old. Bring on the LCD text ribbons, I say.

Like Meleah, I love how you call 'guys', 'cats'. Very Keith Richards of you!

Odat said...

I just love the first paragraph!

(take my comments from the first time around..ok? ;-)


Robin said...

Local frescoes turn me on...I frequent the Church of the Frescoes in Glen Dale Springs, NC. The sand came from Italy though.