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This is why ancient statues often have small penises

At the beginning of the 16th century, the Italian artist Michelangelo created a symbol of the perfect male body with his David sculpture: fine facial features, slim, a muscular upper body.

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This is why ancient statues often have small penises

At the beginning of the 16th century, the Italian artist Michelangelo created a symbol of the perfect male body with his David sculpture: fine facial features, slim, a muscular upper body. Only one really tiny detail didn't quite fit: the small penis.

Michelangelo's David is not unique. Numerous statues in the style of Greek and Roman antiquity openly display nudity and the human body - but the male genital organs almost invariably appear disproportionately small. Just why? Many art historians have indeed dealt with this question.

But before we get close to the solution, you can first give your theory about the puny genitals on ancient statues:

It's not uncommon for men of a certain age to be accused of buying a monstrous sports car as compensation, a kind of penis enlargement. Nowadays the image has manifested itself in society: bigger is better. According to an international study, the average penis length is around 9.16 centimeters when flaccid and 13.12 centimeters when erect.

That's still longer than most antique marble mini phalli. The fact that the statues of ancient civilizations are often not quite as well decorated has to do with the understanding of masculinity in ancient times, as art historian Ellen Oredsson explains in her blog "How To Talk About Art History".

Accordingly, large genitals were then considered "foolish, lustful and ugly". A small penis, on the other hand, was perceived as very aesthetic, since it implied self-control and measured behavior in dealing with one's own sexuality. The ideal man in ancient times was defined more by intellect and the ability to think rationally. The Greek poet Aristophanes is said to have described the ideal male body at least as follows:

This circumstance, in turn, is due to the prudery of the 19th century. According to the British art historian Peter Webb in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, people in the classical period were definitely interested in ancient art. At the same time, the general public was also very frigid.

In order not to shock the audience in the exhibitions, many sculptures had their penises cut off. A replica of the above-mentioned David sculpture by Michelangelo in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London was subsequently given a removable fig leaf to cover the pubic area. Supposedly because Queen Victoria was shocked by the sculpture. It was not until 1912 that the fig leaf was removed and “little David” was put on display again.

Should we have clarified that? You can find more curious facts about the man's best piece here:

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