A Reader's Respite knows well enough that the vast majority of readers out there would most certainly not be interested in the book we are currently reading, The Italian Renaissance: Culture and Society in Italy. Heck, the dry presentation of material from historian Peter Burke has been enough to put us to sleep on several occasions and into a coma at least once (it only lasted for three days...we woke up).
That said, we are determined to slog through this academic snooze-fest and dig out the few gems buried within. We'll save you the trouble of reading this one yourselves and just give you the gem here....
Consider, if you will, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece The Last Supper.
There is, however, another painting originally titled The Last Supper, this one by artist Veronese, a contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci.
When an Index of Prohibited Images was considered in Renassiance Italy in response to the somewhat shocking realism now popular in artwork, Veronese was promptly summoned before the Inquisition of Venice to explain exactly why his interpretation of the Last Supper included "buffoons, drunkards, Germans, dwarfs and similar vulgarities."
Truth be told, A Reader's Respite is inclined to prefer the version that includes buffoons, drunkards, Germans, dwarfs and similar vulgarities. That is, after all, how we like our books.