Michelangelo´s David Statue in Florence

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A day in Florence and first on my list: The famous Michelangelo´s marble statue of the biblical hero David. It is my first visit to the beautiful city of Florence, Italy. Our Contiki leader handed us a map, a few instructions and then we were off exploring this incredible and historical city.

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An incredible statue.

I must admit I did not know a lot about the city. I knew they had good wine in Florence and I knew about the David Statue. But sadly nothing more. I was very excited to be able to explore it.

The statue is housed in the Galleria dell’Accademia. We did not have a long wait and we soon found out why. The statue was under repairs. This meant it was covered completely and we couldn´t see it. It was just my luck that the David statue turned 500 years when we visited in 2004 and they had decided to clean it properly. I didn´t know if I should laugh or cry. Ok, I must admit 500 years is a big deal but did they have to do it now?

It turned out that huge controversy surrounded the cleaning of the David Statue. Cleaning started back in September 2002 and was almost done by the time we arrived. It was the first cleaning undertaken since he was moved to the museum in 1873. David was carved in 1504 and spent the first 350 years outdoors in Florence´s Piazza della Signoria.

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With tails between our legs, we left the Galleria dell´Accademia and had a look at a replica of the statue in the original location in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. Not quite the same but at least I got to see what it must have looked like 350 years ago.

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The beautiful statue of David

Interesting facts about the David Statue:

1. A vandal attacked the statue in 1991 with a hammer, damaging toes on the left foot.

2. Scholars had major concerns when the cleaning project started but it seemed to be unfounded.

3. One of the most replicated statues in the world.

4. His proportions aren´t as realistic. The head and upper region of the body are larger than the lower parts of the body. The hands are also disproportionately large. This was defended by experts saying that if he was situated high on a church or building, it would have looked accurate.

5. There is also some controversy because the statue David is not circumcised as the real life king would have been.

6. When you look closely at the statue you will see that David is preparing for the battle with Goliath. His body is tense and veins are bulging in his hand. His body is twisted and ready for action.

7. It took Michelangelo three years to sculpt this masterpiece.

8. Michelangelo was not the original sculptor. Di Duccio shaped the legs, feet and figure. He also did some drapery work when he left the project (possibly due to the death of Donatello). Antonio Rossellino took over the sculpting work but he was essentially fired.

9. The chunk of marble was left untouched in a workshop for 25 years before Michelangelo was contracted to complete the project!

Where: Florence, Italy.
When: 6 April 2004

 

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.

39 Comments

  1. What a beautiful masterpeice! I love the details..and had never realy noticed before his large hands! So true. It's too bad you weren't able to see the original during your trip 🙁 That sounds like something that would happen to me! Great post 🙂

  2. Hello Nelieta -So sad you didn't have the opportunity to see the art first hand. I had many opportunities to visit Florence as I lived not far away in neighboring Slovenija and Croatia in the 1990s. So sad too, that I take advantage to witness history. Great post. 🙂

  3. David versus Goliath is one of my favourite stories. I love the history that is Italy, and find Rome, Florence and Venice such wonderful places. I have enjoyed many trips there. This post i enjoyed very much thank you

  4. I long to one day travel and witness all there is to see in other countries. Sorry you didn't get to see David up close and personal but, how splendid it must have been to be in Italy and experience everything else.

  5. Hi Alpana, glad you liked it! Oh my friend I would love to come to India but first things first. We need to go back to Russia next year. My mother-in-law is turning 80 and we haven´t been there in 3 years. So all money are now being saved to make this trip possible.I promise I will visit India one day. It seems like such a wonderful place to visit and I am sure I will enjoy the experience!!!♥ as always!

  6. Hi Charlie, thanks for stopping by. I was very sad not to be able to see this masterpiece. It is like going to the Louvre and not being able to see the Mona Lisa. But Florence was beautiful and I did manage to enjoy the time there.I think people in Europe are so lucky to be so close to so much history…maybe I should open a hostel there :)))

  7. Oh Firenze! Firenze! I wish I could say NOW Firenze :P…hahaha… oh among the famous places I missed visiting is this.That, perhaps, would mean I need to go back to Italy again… I liked the trivias you've written on your wall regarding David…I didn't know much of that… There's so much story behind it that makes it doubly wonderful.Thank you for posting Michelangelo's work Nelieta. I truly, truly appreciate it…:*

  8. Awhh, this makes me feel as tho I have missed out on so much! I have never traveled overseas and I am beginning to wonder 'why not'?I understand your frustration about not being able to see the 'real' thing, but I know how that goes. That would be just my luck as well. As many times as I have viewed this sculpture in reference books, I never took notice how large his hands were compared to the rest of his body. How unique. I wonder what the purpose of that was. I'm sure the artist had a meaning behind it 🙂

  9. The sculpture is an amazing work of art. And even though it depicts a buck-naked man, it wouldn't inspire any penis-envy at all. Hehe

  10. Hi Mary, thank you for your comment. The hands are really large once you notice it. I am sure the master artists had a reason for it. I found that travelling made me look different at things. It was like a window that opened to a brand new world. I was so fortunate to see many things and that is the reason why I have this blog. To never forget 🙂

  11. I do hope you get to see it.. Seeing him is not something I shall ever forget.. Just standing in that room, stuffy, stale air, crowded with tourists, some appreciating the moment, and others were just there to check it off a list.. I wanted to be alone and have a long chat (in my mind)…

  12. Hi Mary, thank you for your comment. The hands are really large once you notice it. I am sure the master artists had a reason for it. I found that travelling made me look different at things. It was like a window that opened to a brand new world. I was so fortunate to see many things and that is the reason why I have this blog. To never forget 🙂

  13. The sculpture is an amazing work of art. And even though it depicts a buck-naked man, it wouldn't inspire any penis-envy at all. Hehe

  14. Oh Firenze! Firenze! I wish I could say NOW Firenze :P…hahaha… oh among the famous places I missed visiting is this.That, perhaps, would mean I need to go back to Italy again… I liked the trivias you've written on your wall regarding David…I didn't know much of that… There's so much story behind it that makes it doubly wonderful.Thank you for posting Michelangelo's work Nelieta. I truly, truly appreciate it…:*

  15. Hi Charlie, thanks for stopping by. I was very sad not to be able to see this masterpiece. It is like going to the Louvre and not being able to see the Mona Lisa. But Florence was beautiful and I did manage to enjoy the time there.I think people in Europe are so lucky to be so close to so much history…maybe I should open a hostel there :)))

  16. Hi Alpana, glad you liked it! Oh my friend I would love to come to India but first things first. We need to go back to Russia next year. My mother-in-law is turning 80 and we haven´t been there in 3 years. So all money are now being saved to make this trip possible.I promise I will visit India one day. It seems like such a wonderful place to visit and I am sure I will enjoy the experience!!!♥ as always!

  17. Hi Jessica, I believe they have a 3D screen close to the statue. Here you could zoom in and admire the statue from all angles. It was designed by a University in the States (I think). It was not there when I visited the statue. I was very disappointed when I couldn´t see it.

  18. I long to one day travel and witness all there is to see in other countries. Sorry you didn't get to see David up close and personal but, how splendid it must have been to be in Italy and experience everything else.

  19. Hello Nelieta -So sad you didn't have the opportunity to see the art first hand. I had many opportunities to visit Florence as I lived not far away in neighboring Slovenija and Croatia in the 1990s. So sad too, that I take advantage to witness history. Great post. 🙂

Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous day!

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