For Friday of Monty Python week, here are Cleese and Idle in “The Last Supper” live at Hollywood Bowl:
Superb. Wikipedia states that the sketch was based on Paolo Veronese’s Last Supper. After a hearing before the Inquisition, Vernonese renamed the painting The Feast in the House of Levi. Fiction cannot trump history for comic fodder.
As for Michelangelo and the pope, it seems that they had good relations when it came to art. Clement VII commissioned Michelangelo to paint The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel, though the work’s execution occurred during the papacy of Paul III. Michelangelo decorated the chapel with nudes, which annoyed several clerics in the Vatican. When the Master of Ceremonies Biagio da Cesena complained about the nudity, the artist painted him in hell with the ears of an ass, having his genitalia bitten by a serpent. Incensed, the official protested to the pope. The pontiff said that he could have done something if Biagio had been consigned to purgatory, but the successor to Peter has no authority in hell.