Dirty not-so-little secret uncovered by art restorer
By The Art Newspaper. From In The Frame
Published online: 02 September 2009
A Louvre art restorer came across a stimulating discovery while cleaning a 17th-century canvas by French artist Nicolas Poussin—a fully erect penis hidden by layers of paint. While working on Poussin’s huge canvas Hymenaios Disguised as a Woman During an Offering to Priapus (1634-38), Brazilian conservator Regina Pinto Moreira uncovered the fertility god’s, er, surprise package, which had been concealed by centuries of dirt and paint. Speaking to the São Paulo press, Moreira said she suspects conservative Catholic critics made a later artist cover up the offending member in the 18th century. "They hid the phallus of Priapus. It's what we call adjustment for modesty, and it's not uncommon." The painting, proudly restored to all its former glory, will be exposed next week at Museu de Arte de São Paulo on 8 September.
Submit a comment
All comments are moderated. If you would like your comment to be approved, please use your real name, not a pseudonym. We ask for your email address in case we wish to contact you - it will not be
made public and we do not use it for any other purpose.
Want to write a longer comment to this article? Email email@example.com