The restored Hymenaios Disguised As A Woman During An Offering To Priapus (detail) by Poussin
They hid the phallus of Priapus. It’s what we call adjustment for modesty, and it’s not uncommon,” said Regina Pinto Moreira, quoted in Tuesday’s edition of the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.
She suspects the cover-up was made in conservative Catholic Spain in the 18th century.
Ms Moreira, who worked as an master art restorer at the Louvre in Paris for some 30 years, spent eight months alongside two French experts restoring Poussin’s large 1634-1638 painting Hymenaios Disguised As A Woman During An Offering To Priapus.
The 3.71-metre by 1.66-metre artwork depicts Hymenaios, the Greek god of marriage ceremonies, dressed as a woman and dancing with Priapus, who was traditionally depicted with an erect penis.
The painting however once belonged to the Spanish royal family, and Ms Moreira says she thinks this was when the post-production modesty came in.
Censorship is nothing new! but to actually change a masterpiece, well, it pains me to say it but it appears we have made some progress in the last few centuries towards better acceptance of the nude. I am glad to see that the artist’s original vision has come to light finally, it’s about time! by the way, you really have to look to find the offending phallus, it’s actually not that big a deal- you can see it clearly in the detail above but when you look at the full image, well, it does lose it’s importance in the grand scheme of things.
The complete and censored version. the censoring was not particularly well executed, there is a clear shadow that doesn’t quite seem to fit. as always click on the images to enlarge.
Priapus was the ancient greek god of fertility and Hymenaios the god of marriages.