Pubic hair, ripped abs and weird toes: How 2 bronze statues were confirmed as Michelangelo’s work
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The Renaissance artist Michelangelo has been revealed to be the creator of two disputed Rothschild bronze statues, thanks to a careful study of the statue’s pubic hair, weird toes and killer abs.
In an investigation that took almost four years, a team of researchers supported by the University of Cambridge set out to confirm what had been believed to be a sensational claim made by a museum, that two privately owned statues were the work of the iconic Michelangelo.
The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge first made its case in 2015, about the two statues of muscled, naked men mounted on panther-like animals. This week, the proof was provided to back it up.
The bronze statues carry significant markers of a Michelangelo creation. This includes unusually shaped feet, with the short big toe and outward pointing second toe, that is so common in both Michelangelo’s sculptures and drawings.
The pubic hair was tied to Michelangelo’s work too, because it is “rather curly, unruly and normal,” according to Peter Abrahams, a professor of clinical anatomy involved in the investigation, the Guardian reports.
Abrahams believes Michelangelo studied anatomy and the professor noticed details in the bronze statues that would come from having a good knowledge of muscles and the human body. Then there are the eight-packs the men are each sporting, another Michelangelo trademark.
Scientists in Switzerland also used neutron analysis to date the pieces to Michelangelo’s era.
The two bronze men are the only known surviving bronze works by Michelangelo. They are currently privately owned, but are expected to tour the world in the future, while their monetary value is sure to skyrocket.
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