Nov 17, 2016

The Battle of the Nude Men

More evidence that artists generally draw nude men only when they're about to kill each other:

I found this painting at the Art Institute of Chicago.  The heavily-muscled men are naked, grimacing as they go at each other with scimitars.

 It's actually called "Battle of the Nude Men", the only surviving engraving by Renaissance goldsmith and sculptor Antonio del Pollaiolo (1429-1498).

Pollaiolo painted other men grimacing in the heat of battle, like Hercules and Antaeus.  As part of his 11th Labor, Hercules had to kill the half-giant, but he couldn't throw or pin him, so he bear-hugged him to death.

And shows a nice butt crack.

Hercules and the Hydra pits the muscleman against the monster with multiple heads; every time you cut one off, two grow up in its place.  Unfortunately, a swatch covers his penis.

Pollaiuolo also cast several bronze nude Hercules.

Pope Sixtus IV, who has been rumored to be gay, was his biggest patron.  When he died, Pollaiuolo was conscripted to design his tomb.

Pollaiuolo died unmarried, and was buried next to his brother.

History doesn't tell us if he was gay or not, but I'm going to go with probably.

Look at "Tobias and the Angel."  They're not naked, but have you ever seen such a feminine Tobias in such an intimate pose?

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