Leonardo da Vinci and friends brought it again into the light, as gloriously as the ancients, and in fact patterned after them.
Leonardo da Vinci summed up the Renaissance mood like this:
"[The phallus] confers with the human intelligence and sometimes has intelligence of itself, and although the will of the man desires to stimulate it it remains obstinate and takes his own course, and moving sometimes of itself without license or thought by the man, whether he be sleeping or waking, it does what it desires; and often the man is asleep and it is awake, and many times the man is awake and it is asleep; many times the man wishes it to practice and it does not wish it; many times it wishes and the man forbids it. It seems therefore that this creature often has a life and intelligence separate from the man, and it would appear that the man is in the wrong in being ashamed to give it a name or exhibit it, seeking rather constantly to cover and conceal what he ought to adorn and display with ceremony as a ministrant."
Quoted in Leonardo da Vinci by Sherwin B. Nuland
And Leonardo's view prevailed for a while " . . . man is in the wrong in being ashamed to give it a name or exhibit it, seeking rather constantly to cover and conceal what he ought to adorn and display with ceremony as a ministrant."
Consider Cellin's Perseus. . .
. . . and Peter Paul Rubens . . .
. . . and the sexual Caravaggio.
A photograph by By Ästhetikfoto
Folks who like shame and remorse (or, more kindly, folks who are modest and who like color and texture) prevailed again, though Picasso did a nice penis . . .
. . . as did Degas
By the time I was a young man in the early 1950s, the West was so repressed that this scene from From Here to Eternity caused a stir because it was thought to be too explicitly sexual.
To see where that lead, consult the Web for any sort of sexual image that interests you.