By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com July 19 2001 12:00 AM ET
A 52.5-inch crucifix, long thought lost until it resurfaced in 1964, has been definitively attributed to gay artist Michelangelo. The sculpture, which shows a nude and serene Christ slumped against the cross, was dismissed by many critics as being the work of another since it lacked the vitality and energy of a real Michelangelo; some even called the figure on the piece invertebrate. Director of the cultural division of Italys National Research Council, Umberto Baldini, has examined the proportions of the piece as well as the curves and circumferences of the bones and muscles of the body and declared it authentic. Baldini notes that through intense study of exhumed corpses, Michelangelo had acquired a minute familiarity with human anatomy, something which consequently granted him an extreme refinement in polishing the wood, to which the pigments added the exalting beauty of life, intensity, and mobility. Michelangelo would have been 18 when he completed the piece.