"Last Judgment" models found in Turkish bathhouses?

The writhing, muscular figures in Michelangelo's Last Judgment fresco in the Sistine Chapel may have been inspired by men encountered by the artist in Rome's gay brothels and bathhouses according to Elena Lazzarini, whose new book Nudity, art and decorum: aesthetic changes in the art of the 16th century explores the theory. (photo)

Lazzarini, a researcher from Pisa University, believes that Michelangelo frequented such establishments. "The virile male bodies are inspired by the physiology of labourers engaged in physical exertion, with taut muscles, strenuous exertion and pain etched into the expression on their faces," she said.