Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The David

When all was finished, it cannot be denied that this work has carried off the palm from all other statues, modern or ancient, Greek or Latin; no other artwork is equal to it in any respect, with such just proportion, beauty and excellence did Michelangelo finish it”.
Giorgio Vasari

Queuing in the hot hot sun, even though I vowed never again would I stand in a queue after the Versailles debacle.

But this was different.

There was a fella I had been longing to meet for a very long time.

And he was worth it.

Michelangelo's David is perfect.  Every glorious 16 feet and 11.15 inches (5.16 meters) of him.
Carved from Carrara marble between 1501 and 1504, the statue was meant to be one of a series of statues of prophets positioned about 80 meters up along the roof line of Florence Cathedral.
Thankfully for students and lovers of art down the centuries, that didn't happen.
When the statue was unveiled it was agreed that it was too perfect to be placed high up out of the gaze of the public, so the city council formed a committee of about 30 members, including Leonardo Da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli, and it was decided to place David in the political heart of Florence, the Palazzo della Signoria (now known as the Plazazzo Vecchio)
It took four days to move him.
In 1873 he was moved to his current address at the Galleria dell'Accademia to protect him from further damage from the elements.

The story of David and Goliath has been portrayed in many works of art and many statues depict David after the battle, standing over Goliath's severed head.
But Michelangelo chose to show David before the battle.
He is tense, focused and alert - but yet also relaxed. He is captured at the peak of his concentration. 
In those determined eyes you can see he is sizing up his opponent and deciding exactly where to hurl that stone.

I fell in love the the genius of Michelangelo that day.

Lining the hall leading to his masterpiece, are some of Michelangelo's unfinished works which I found equally fascinating.

The figures have been frozen for eternity, as they were stepping out of the marble.
They aren't smooth and finished like David.  You can see every chisel mark.

And they are beautiful.

Accademia Gallery, Florence - July 2015


  1. Wonderful details in these shots! David certainly is tall.

    1. Thank you. My pictures don't do justice to the details of the sculpture but I'm happy with what I took. He is much taller than I imagined.

  2. Oh wow, definitely on my wish list to see and most definitely worth waiting in the sun to see!

  3. Truly majestic, wow. I think It would be all I could do not to drag my jaw on the floor if I was standing in front of this incredible masterpiece in person. I'm sure it was an incredible experience and really appreciate you sharing about it with us.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

    1. My jaw did! It was an incredible experience and one I intend to repeat :)

  4. Oh, wow! Like everyone else I've seen photos of David all my life but never realised the sheer size of it nor the incredible detail and finish. Thanks for opening the eyes of an old Philistine.

  5. Hi Debs - thanks for the visit ... the sculpture of David is extraordinary isn't it - Michelangelo's works are magnificent ... I'm so pleased you were able to see him and prepared to queue, then show us your photos ... cheers Hilary


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