TWO newly-discovered Michelangelo bronzes of muscular men riding panthers have seen his work embraced by the heavy metal community.
The Renaissance artist, previously only of interest to Popes, is riding a new wave of popularity among fans of album covers featuring dragons and naked women.
Metalhead Wayne Hayes said: “I’d dismissed Michelangelo’s work out-of-hand – even as a Ninja Turtle, he was nowhere near as hardcore as Raphael – but these statues are good enough to flank the stage at Donington.
“The anatomy is exquisite, the detailing is sublime, and 30 minutes with his fresco The Last Judgement made me want to smash my head into the wall while screaming, so it’s up there with Master of Puppets.
“And apparently he did it all without an airbrush. If he’d really applied himself he could’ve been the equal of Iron Maiden album artist Derek Riggs.”
Art historian Susan Traherne said: “Unfortunately many of Michelangelo’s secular works were lost to posterity because they were painted on the back of leather jackets.
“Though we have tentatively identified one piece – a skeleton with flaming eyes wearing a top hat, holding out a fanned deck of cards each of which is the ace of spades – as an early work titled Death or Glory.”