Michelangelo Ignudo
Ignudo; detail from the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Scan © Mark Harden, used with permission


(plural noun) - From the Italian adjective nudo, meaning "naked."

"The Ignudi" is the phrase coined by Michelangelo to describe the twenty seated male nudes he incorporated into the Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes. Each represents the male human figure at its most idealized, in a sort of blending of ancient Classicism and modern naked super heroes (a topic about which Michelangelo could not have known), and none had anything at all to do with Bible stories.

In an effort to be crystal clear, then: Michelangelo did not make up the word, he gave it a new art-historical context when he collectively named his 20 Sistine Chapel nudes "The Ignudi."

Also Known As: ignudo (singular form)