Marietta Cambareri, assistant curator of decorative arts and sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, made the sort of discovery that folks in her business dream about: taking that backroom collection of shards and through the skills of her trade, turning it into a serious art object of wondrous benefit to scholarship, and…lest we not be blunt about it…turned an item of negative value (it had to be stored and insured without being enjoyed or even understood) to something now worth millions of dollars. Yeah I’m sure they really gave her a compensatory bonus for that one… NOT.
attr. Giovanni Francesco Rustici St. John the Baptist, early 16th Century
The article in the NYT tells us that in addition to the piece being broken up in many places, it had been “clumsily” restored. Along with restoring the piece, an immense effort was organized to attribute the piece to a close friend of Leonardo’s, Giovanni Francesco Rustici. The core of the attribution lies in Vasari’s mention of Rustici having made a St.JB for the Baptistery in Florence, and that when he was doing so he was sharing a house with Leonardo!
Apparently, the most controversial aspect of the restoration involved an earlier “clumsy” restoration of the finger which was pointing back at the saint himself.
But under Cambareri’s restoration, the finger was extended to point over the shoulder of the saint, indicating, according to CATHOLIC ORTHODOXY that he was the one who came before Jesus (James Beck will be weighing in on this any moment now). What the curators at the Boston Fine Arts Museum failed to understand was that the finger was supposed to be pointing back at John. Because…
Art Miser has deduced using our super-human sense of semiotics that….Since we all KNOW Leonardo was gay (the internet says so), then, well…you know what “sharing a house” means in gayspeak. And the Baptist, pointing at himself, is saying: “it’s all about me!” In other words, it’s not about that fluzzy Mary Magdellan. It’s about me and Jesus. And of course, the statue is also a reference to how Rustici “baptized” Leonardo (the Messiah). This lame-ass concoction will serve as the intellectual underpinnings to the Da Vinci Code II which will involve the long lost Battle of Anghiari (which had originally been done in competition with Michelangelo’s Battle of Cascina), and later Vasari painted over it in the Palazzo Vecchio. The shocking sequel will also feature the fearsome Book of Gomorrah and the prophetic St. Peter Damian. The book will be marketed under the full title: The Da Vinci Code II: The Michelangelo Code.