In 1501 one of the most renowned artist of all times Michelangelo was given the assignment of sculpting a statue of David, a Biblical hero who was very popular in Florence, Tuscany. The master sculptor worked on his assignment and three years later presented to the people of Florence the statue what is popularly known as Michelangelo’s David. The statue was so stunning and well received, that instead of being placed at Florence’s Cathedral as originally planned it was presented at the Palazzo della Signoria. Since then millions of people have visited Florence to see one of the most magnificent masterpieces of the Renaissance Era, and its popularity can be gauged from the fact innumerable replicas of the same statue have been produced all over the globe in places ranging from beaches to casinos.
When you visit the Palazzo della Signoria you now see a replica of the masterpiece installed in 1910 as the original statue had to be removed in 1873 to save it from being destroyed by the vagaries of nature. However, you can see the original Michelangelo’s David at Florence’s Accademia Gallery.
When you stand face to face…well maybe face to the above picture, you can’t help be amazed by the sheer brilliance of the 13’5″ tall nude statue. Unbelievably David was crafted from a single block of marble that had already been worked upon for another statue. David’s physic is very muscular and with veins clearly visible as he holds stones and slingshots in his hands.
Though his head and hands might appear not to be in proportion to his body, it was possibly made this way as Michelangelo felt it visually more important for the viewer who would see it high up on the cathedral roof. Moreover when installed the statue depicted the protection of civil liberties in the independent Florentine Republic, which was surrounded by powerful states on all sides, and in fact the eyes of David are so intense that is serves as a warning glare when installed facing towards the most powerful state Rome.
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