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The spirit of the Renaissance, via YouTube

21 April 2016

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Last week, we learned that film director Franco Zeffirelli may well be a descendant of Leonardo. As if that wasn’t enough, we can now see the master’s legacy extending into a whole new medium – rap music. Toronto hip hop crew Naturally Born Strangers have released a new single, ‘Jameson Ave’, which is accompanied by a video that takes inspiration from a ‘long gone era of Classical Art and applies old tropes to a new reality’. The rappers and various other celebrities de nos jours are depicted as ‘Baroque portraits come to life’. Quite why, the Rake must plead ignorance. But who is he to spoil the fun?

Among the highlights offered by this postmodern, erm, masterpiece of art-historical reference are nods to the Sistine Chapel and Leonardo’s Last Supper. And, obviously, hordes of drunken partygoers, nude women and a reanimated image of late Toronto mayor Rob Ford. Verily, the spirit of the Renaissance is alive and well – and living on YouTube.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.