Wednesday, September 9, 2009


It has been drawn to my attention that the Greek God Priapus had mislaid his penis.

As he is the God of Fertility and supposedly the protector of male genitalia that must have been some handicap and a tad embarrassing.

A Brazilian art restorer found it under several layers of paint. Regina Pinto Moreira spent eight months restoring the Nicolas Poussin work “Hymenaeus travestido durante un sacrificio a Príapo”, which was painted between 1634 y 1638 – and out it popped.

The report I read said the work is to be “exposed” at Sao Paolo’s Museum of Art – but I guess they mean “displayed” – or perhaps they don’t.

Apparently the restoration supervised by the Louvre cost 150,000 euros – I’ll leave it to you to work out how much that is per inch.

Over the years the picture has had several owners and is now in the possession of the Spanish Royal Family – so it is unclear who touched poor Priapus up. However as most images of him show a large, permanently erect penis - hiding it seems to me to be defeating his entire object in life. After all with Priapus – what you see is what you get.

You can see and judge for yourself on the restored picture above.

As for me I have to say that if I didn’t know otherwise I’d have said it was his pet hamster peaking out over his low-slung garland.


Malcolm Davidson said...

I expect it was The Vatican or the Inquisition. If you look at 19th century catalogues of the Vatican Museum, it is clear that the Holy Church held a monopoly position on figleaf production, which spread through prudish Europe, eventually causing prudish suburban English ladies to drape the legs of their grand pianos with taffeta.

Mary said...

Oh, that´s what it is - I thought he´d spilt his coffee.