Restorers Discover A Big Old Erect Penis In A Classic 17th Century Painting

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that folks back in olden times (a) had a sense of humor and (b) had dirty minds just as bad as ours. But it’s true. An art restorer at the Louvre was tasked with restoring Nicolas Poussin’s 17th century painting “Hymenaios Disguised as a Woman During an Offering to Priapus,” which shows the god of marriage (Hymenaois) giving a gift to the god of fertility (Priapus). Underneath many layers of paint, she found that … Priapus has an erect penis that’s, well, basically porn-star sized. The restoration team thinks that the peen was probably in the original work and that, years later, another artist covered it up after getting complaints from the Catholic Church. An alternate theory is that, back in the day, artists would paint their subjects nude and then paint clothes on top so as to make them as realistic as possible. Who knows which theory is right, but if you happen to be in Brazil next week, go check out the unveiling of the restored painting at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo. [The Art Newspaper]

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