The Scandal of Leonardo, Michelangelo, David and a Fig Leaf
By David Gray
Can there be a more talked about, giggled at, loved statue in the world than Michelangelo's David? If so, we don't know about it, or it hasn't got a small but perfectly formed peen on display.
In it, Jones chronicles the bitter feud between Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo that started with an exchange of words on a Florentine street. It's thought the young, arrogant Michelangelo insulted Da Vinci on matters of bastardy, sexual bestiality and regarding the design of a colossal horse that he lacked the skill to cast in bronze.
Da Vinci didn't reply, but waited until a committee met to agree where Michelangelo's David should be displayed. Da Vinci then apparently sketched a crude caricature of David, and suggested the statue have its bits covered before going on show.
When David was placed on the Piazza della Signoria, he did indeed sport a brass thong decorated with a delicate scattering of well-placed copper leaves. Luckily, the thong was removed and the poor boy was allowed his full glory.