Michelangelo's Shoes Suggest Artist was Short

September 7 2021

Image of Michelangelo's Shoes Suggest Artist was Short

Picture: livescience.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a curious story that appeared in the press a few days ago.

A group of scientists from the Forensic Anthropology, Paleopathology and Bioarchaeology Research Center (FAPAB) in Avola, Italy, have been studying a set of shoes allegedly owned by Michelangelo surviving in Florence's Casa Buonarroti Museum. Using some clever analysis, the group has estimated that Michelangelo's must have been no taller than 5 feet 2 inches (1.6 meters).

According to the article:

While this is relatively short for a European adult man by today's standards, at the time Michelangelo was alive (1475 to 1564) that height would not have been unusual, said scientists with the Forensic Anthropology, Paleopathology and Bioarchaeology Research Center (FAPAB) in Avola, Italy. 

FAPAB researchers Francesco Galassi, a paleopathologist, and Elena Varotto, a forensic anthropologist, measured the shoes and then calculated the wearer's foot dimensions and height, and their results aligned with a description of Michelangelo by the 16th-century artist and writer Giorgio Vasari. Vasari wrote that Michelangelo was "broad in the shoulders" but the rest of his body was "somewhat slender in proportion" and his stature was average, according to the study.

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