Fun Fact Friday: 9/4/15 TMNT are named after Italian Artists

Did you know that the names given to the turtles in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are after four Italian Renaissance artists?

I’m sure most people did know this, but it doesn’t hurt to bring it up since I love art so much and I grew up with the TMNT. What are the names? Let us take a look:

Raphael: After Raffaello Santi: AKA-Raphael (1483-1520)

He’s known for his beautiful paintings such as the “Madonna in the Meadow” (1505-1506), “Galatea” (1513), and “School of Athens” (1509-1511), to name a few.

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Donatello: After Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi (1386-1466): AKA: Donatello

Donatello is known for being a great sculptor, as seen in his “David” interpretation in Bronze (1420-1450).


Michelangelo: After Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)

MichelAngelo is known for many things including, his “Moses” sculpture, “The Sistine Chapel” painting which contains his known “Creation of Adam,” and his “David” sculpture, that I recently heard is in a dire state as it is collapsing. I hope not, I need to see it in person, my kids need to see it.

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Leonardo: After Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519)

He’s known for the famous “Mona Lisa” (1503-1505), “Last Supper” (1495-1498) and his love of all things including anatomical studies with his sketch of “The Fetus and Lining of the Uterus” (1511-1513) which is know to be incorrect, but still amazingly close.

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Why did the creators of the TMNT do this?

According to the NYPost, the creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, were big Art fans, understandable, they are artists themselves, and decided to name them after the Italian artists.

Works Cited:

Pictures taken from my old Art textbook

Gardner’s Art through the Ages

Twelfth Edition Volume II

by Fred S. Kleiner and Christin J. Mamiya


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