Monday, December 14, 2009

The Onion throws down the gauntlet to real historians

On some level you have to love this:
Following 1,000 years of cultural decline and societal collapse known as the Dark Ages, the 15th century brought forth the Renaissance, an unprecedented resurgence in learning and the arts, which four or five guys pretty much just strapped onto their backs and carried the whole way.

"Our research indicates that da Vinci, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, and Galileo basically hoisted the entire intellectual transformation of mankind onto their shoulders while everyone else just sat around being superstitious nimrods," said Sue Viero of the Correr Museum of Art in Venice, Italy. "Here's da Vinci busting his ass to paint such masterpieces as The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa, while some loser like Albrecht Dürer is doing these dinky little woodcuts that are basically worthless."

...

While some claim the three- century-long movement would not have been possible without the contributions of lesser-known sculptors and thinkers, most scholars said they would challenge anyone to name an image by Jan van Eyck or Francesco Guicciardini that's more iconic than, say, Donatello's Mary Magdalene.

"It's a no-brainer, really," cultural anthropologist Diane Messinick said. "Mediocre talents like the playwright George Peele or renowned court painter Federico Brandani were pretty much the equivalent of the guy at work who brews a fresh pot of coffee while you're busy making sure there's still a company to come back to after everyone gets back from goddamn Christmas break."

Added Messinick, "Hacks."

We need these researchers to look into who had the biggest ego in the Renaissance. They are clearly well qualified to do the project.

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