Kitsu’s Afternoon “News” – 18th Century Vandalism Cleaned Up!

Originally reported by Discovery News via their blog on 28 September 2010. Yes. this is a year old. I don’t care. I still find it interesting.

During the 18th century it was decided that a nude of dwarf and court jester of the time, Morgante, was painted over. The original canvas, titled “Bronzino”, is double sided, and portraying both full frontal and full backal nudity on the part of the dwarf. The work was considered obscene prior to it’s vandalism. The painting was “Fixed” by adding masses of vines and grapes to “protect” the modesty of Bronzino and recast him as a humble servant overing wine.

The subject of the painting rose from the status of slave to be a landed man and favored subject of Duke Cosimo l de’ Medici. Duke Medici also had his favored entertainer portrayed in a number of other works by a variety of other artists. Even, however, he was not safe from the various mistreatments of dwarves in the times. “Nani”, and the dwarves were known then, were expected to entertain and amuse, being made the butt of many jokes. Even the landed and titled Morgante continued to suffer at the hands of other courtesans.

Prehaps, now, he is getting the last laugh. He has achieved a level of longevity and grandness those abusive courtesans can never achieve. He is immortalized in a collection or art that places him as the center.