Then look no further! If you need a sight of some muscular bodies, don’t go to the beach this year, but book yourself a ticket to the Sistine Chapel where these hot Renaissance boys are waiting for you all ready!
Hey Girl, I’m better than Ryan Gosling memes
Michelangelo was a real master of muscles. And a very playful man, too: he placed these 20 Ignudi, that is ‘nude men’, right between the episodes from the Genesis… The only thing that bugged the scholars was: what did Michelangelo want to represent with them?
Hey Girl, I’m looking at you from my ceiling
The height of ignudi ranges from 150 to 180 cm, they all are seated on plynths and they often are wrapped in pink or yellow ribbons, or hold acorn festoons which allude to the family emblem of the Della Rovere, the clan of pope Julius II, the commissioner.
Hey Girl, I want just you, I’m fed up with all those tourists
If you wonder why their poses are so weird, since all of them seem more or less uncomfortable (well, I kind of get it, sitting on a cold marble plynth, and not everyone’s got a pillow)… Such poses were chosen on purpose to expose the tense muscles, a typical practice of High Renaissance art which later evolved into Mannierism. The idea was to show the highest craft possible in painting and the beauty of human anatomy.
Hey girl, I’m too muscular to scratch my back
Vasari, the chronicler of the lives of great Italian artists, described the boys as symbols of the ‘golden age’ of Julius’ pontificate, whereas the modern scholarship defined them as symbols of neoplatonic philosophy or theology. As Italian philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola wrote, they were meant to inspire man to glorify God who created man in His own image.
Hey girl, do you want to pull this ribbon together?
However, probably the most convincing definition of the role of the Ignudi in the Sistine Chapel was by Charles de Tolnay who wrote that they are there as ‘angelic figures’, intermediary creatures between man and divinity. Don’t you agree?!