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White Jesus modeled on Cesare Borgia? The theory is that people were generally not too enthusiastic about the Catholic Church’s regular massacres of Jews and Muslims, because the people they were killing looked like Jesus.  Pope Alexander VI then ordered the destruction of all art depicting a Semitic Jesus and commissioned a number of paintings depicting a Caucasian Jesus.  His son, Cardinal Cesare Borgia, was the model for these paintings.  Thus, the nastiest of all the Borgias, ...

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Bartolomeo Veneto Traditionally regarded as a portrait of Lucrezia Borgia, the scandal-ridden daughter of Pope Alexander VI, this painting actually shows an unknown woman who had herself depicted as Flora, the ancient goddess of spring. This circumstance explains the flowers in her right hand and also accounts for her fantastic costume, which – with turban, wig, and one breast exposed – would not have been appropriate for the portrait of an honourable (married) woman.

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