Titan of the spirit, but not of the body: anthropologists have calculated the height of Michelangelo

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Titan of the spirit, but not of the body: anthropologists have calculated the height of Michelangelo
Titan of the spirit, but not of the body: anthropologists have calculated the height of Michelangelo
6 September, 14:53SciencePhoto: CBC.ca
By modern standards, the Renaissance titan was very short.

In the Florentine house-museum of the artist Casa Buonarotti, leather shoes have been preserved, which most likely belonged to Michelangelo - a pair of shoes and one unpaired copy (the second one was taken away by some fan in 1873). Recently, staff at the Research Center for Forensic Anthropology, Paleopathology and Bioarcheology (FAPAB) in Avola examined the shoes to recreate the physical appearance of their wearer, LiveScience reported.

Calculations showed that the artist was no more than 1 meter 60 centimeters tall. By today's standards, growth is not gigantic, but at the time when Michelangelo lived - from 1475 to 1564 - for the average European man, this was a normal figure. The results of the scientists coincided with the description of the artist, which was left by his biographer Giorgio Vasari, who mentioned that "he was of medium height, broad-shouldered, but well-built in relation to other parts of the body".

Photo:LiveScience

The remains of Michelangelo have never been exhumed or studied, so we can only judge the physical appearance of the artist by the references in the notes of his contemporaries and the details of his self-portraits. Guided by these sources, scientists suggest that by the end of his life, the master was in poor health due to lead poisoning and arthritis that tormented him. Research by Italian anthropologists allows us to add new details to this meager information.

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