Florence free Tour
Florence free tour
Florence Free Tour

CURIOSITIES ABOUT MICHELANGELO’S DAVID : The incredible thing is that this marvel was sculpted from a block of stone that was previously rejected.

10 reasons why “David” is so incredible:

  1. The colossal figure is 17 meters tall, equivalent to a 2-story building. It was carved from a huge block of Carrara marble.
  2. The block from which it was cut was damaged. Two sculptors were commissioned before Michelangelo took over, but neither of them was able to successfully work with the low-quality stone provided.
  3. The shape of David explains the limitations of the stone. He is thin and his head tilts to one side – because the block was too narrow to allow him to look straight ahead. His contrapposto stance explained a hole that already existed in the marble between his legs.
  4. Michelangelo was only 26 years old when he started and 28 when he finished. He was already one of the best living sculptors at that time, having completed the “Pietà” to the total disbelief of Rome when he was 24.
  5. Originally it was intended to sit on the roofline of Florence’s Duomo. When it was completed, it was simply too beautiful, and too large, to be raised up there, and instead was displayed at the Palazzo della Signoria.
  6. Modern studies have found that it is anatomically perfect, except for a small missing muscle on the back. Michelangelo, who studiously studied anatomy, knew this – he later wrote that he was limited by a flaw in the marble.
  7. The jugular vein on David’s neck is prominent, suited to someone in a state of fear or emotion (as the young shepherd would have been). Michelangelo obviously knew that this was a feature of the circulatory system, but medical science did not document this discovery until 124 years later.
  8. It was stylistically innovative. Previous interpretations of David, like those by Donatello and Verrocchio, depicted him victorious over the already slain Goliath. Here he is on the brink of battle, his intense gaze and furrowed brow representing a contemplative moment.
  9. David represents the idealized male form and proportion, a common theme of classical Greek sculpture. But Michelangelo’s work is far more naturalistic, rooted in an anatomical understanding that far surpassed the Greeks. David is both a beautiful representation of the ideal and strikingly real – a defining achievement of the Italian Renaissance.
  10. Today, about 1.5 million people visit David each year. It has lived at the Accademia Gallery in Florence for 150 years, since it was moved indoors in 1873 to protect it from the elements.

As expected, David earned the admiration of the great Renaissance artist and historian Giorgio Vasari: “When all was finished, it cannot be denied that this work took the prize over all other statues, modern or ancient, Greek or Latin; no other work of art is equal to it in any respect, with such correct proportion, beauty, and excellence did Michelangelo complete it.”