White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Friday, May 15, 2015

Michelangelo's Masterpiece, "David," Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Leonardo da Vinci's painting, "Mona Lisa" in Paris is perhaps the most widely known painting in the world; Michelangelo's statue of "David" is perhaps the most widely known sculpture in the world. Florence is home to the 17-foot tall marble statue of David, created in the early 1500's by the 26-year old artist over a three-year period, carved from a single marble block. It stood outside in the Palazzo Vecchio for 350 years until the late 1800's before being moved indoors to a custom designed space at the Galleria dell'Accademia; a reproduction was made at that time and can still be seen standing in the Palazzo Vecchio (and a picture later on in this blog).

It is a powerful piece of art. To simply stand and behold it is wondrous. As people approached, their heads angled upward, a reverential silence fell over the room. It's so real looking that it isn't real - the shadows, the light, the size, musculature, setting - to have created this from a single block of marble is beyond belief, beyond possibility. I understand why it enjoys its fame - it is beyond human that a man with a hammer and chisel could carve this 500 years ago.  I was most pleased that the gallery employees did not force people out.  There was no hurry - I was able to linger - so I sat and stared and enjoyed without pressure to move on.

Of course, selfies are always popular. 

Even the full scale reproduction that was placed in the Palazzo Vecchio, notwithstanding the pigeons and gulls, still looks grand.

Florence is the capital city of Tuscany, it was the birthplace of the Renaissance, and some have even called it the cultural capital of Europe. Whichever adjectives you attach, it is a big, busy, vibrant city teeming with life, art, culture, food, fashion, noise, history, and "David" 

So, was it worth it to see the "real" David? A resounding and unequivocal yes! I didn't last time I visited here and regretted that choice. Generally, a visitor must choose between standing in line for an hour or so for the 12-Euro access, or, paying extra for a "Firenze Card" for the 72 Euro access and zip right on in without delay. (The Firenze Card is also good at many museums so it's a smart buy if you go to many places over a three day period). 

(Note: all images in this post with my smartphone).


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