Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Florence on $85 a Day – The David

No matter where you walk in Florence, you'll not only see the Duomo peeking around every corner, but David and his slingshot seem to follow you wherever you go. Replicas of him are everywhere—in piazzas, at souvenir shops, on T-shirts. Although he hasn't actually started riding the bus yet, I imagine that idea is being considered!

Of course, it's no wonder Florence is so proud of this most famous statue in the world. Michelangelo took a piece of marble that another artist had rejected and formed a masterpiece.

The David, in the Academia Museum, is housed at the end of a long hall. Lining both sides of that hall are statues that symbolize Michelangelo's theory that the art of sculpting is simply a matter of removing the superfluous rock material to free the statue within. A great master is simply one who can wield a chisel to reveal the inherent statue; the works lining this hall seem to be half-completed. The figures literally seem to be “coming out of” the rock.

Then, to maximize effect, there at the end of the hall, in a rotunda all by himself, is the giant David. And it IS impressive. But you'll have to take my word for it because no photos are allowed.

We sat on the conveniently placed benches for several minutes studying the great statue, noticing that his hands seem huge. I'd read somewhere that Michelangelo made David's hands larger than normal to show that God favored the young boy and that, with Him, anything, even slaying a nine-feet tall giant with a stone, is possible.

As wonderful as it was to finally see the “real” David, we also very much enjoyed two slide presentations offered on the second floor of the museum. The first showed the history of clothing and armor through the ages, and the second explained the steps –I lost track after the first six—an artist goes through to create triptychs or paintings on wood.

If you think you'd enjoy meeting David and gaining some insight into Renaissance art, consider ordering your tickets in advance to avoid the lines. We paid 21 euros for two tickets from the Firenze Museum site.


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