1,300,000 tourists annually visit the Museum dell Accademia to gaze in awe at the statue of David by Michelangelo. It is arguably the most beautifully, indeed perfectly, proportioned marble representation of the male form. Some erudite artists and anatomists, argue that the hands are slightly out or proportion, being too large. Whilst others, I suspect with a twinge of jealousy, state categorically that they would be prepared to testify in a court of law that the testicles are a touch too voluminous.
Having a partially expressed engineering/mechanical genetic trait – thanks to my father- combined with a not too flamboyant artistic flair, I pondered a potential catastrophe. What would happen if the great sculptor himself or one of his beautiful attractive young artisans delicately chipping then polishing the testicles, should say sneeze and hence mar the marble of David’s manhood? Perhaps this is the derivation of that universal exclamation of frustration?
Michelangelo may well have uttered
“well that was a balls up, Ascanio “!
Poor Ascanio being Michelangelo’s apprentice and possibly the young man he lusted after.
Another 16 tonne lump of marble was ordered to be delivered within the week by elephant express and poor Ascanio assigned to mass producing Plaster of Paris fig-leaves for a very large number of nude Roman and Greek adolescent male youths, a lucrative back order from the Vatican.