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Uffizi Gallery

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Michelangelo's David at the Academy of Florence

The most famous sculpture in the world kept at the Accademia Gallery, history and curiosity

Michelangelo's David is an imposing sculpture in Carrara marble still considered the perfect ideal of a male figure. It is certainly made around 1501 and 1504 and is now exhibited in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence.

It has always been considered the perfect ideal of a male figure in art, represented the biblical hero when he prepares to kill Goliath. It was originally placed in Piazza della Signoria as a symbol of the Florentine republic, victorious against its enemies.

In 1501 Michelangelo was commissioned to make a sculpture of King David to be kept inside the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore. The work began in September of the same year. The sculptor had a fence of boards built around the statue to protect it from prying eyes and not reveal anything about its creation.

The David, unlike that of Donatello and Verrocchio, is not represented with the head of Goliath at his feet but before the battle, with a visible psychological tension. The work is depicted naked like other religious statues made by the artist. Once the work was finished, it was found that the result far exceeded expectations and was therefore no longer suitable for the Duomo. It was decided to locate it in Piazza dei Priori, the heart of Florentine political life, thus transferring the symbolic value of the statue from a religious context to a civic and political one. The David symbolizes the righteous, the one who, armed with a single sling, manages to defeat the terrible Goliath. The image therefore represents good triumphing over evil. The best representation of a newly founded government. Finally, a position of maximum prominence was opted for, dominating in front of Palazzo Vecchio.

In 1512 a lightning bolt struck the base of the statue. This event could cause possible sagging. Moreover, during the second expulsion of the Medici from Florence the David was hit by stones, tiles and furniture and inevitably suffered considerable damage.

In 1813 the sculptor Aristodemo Costoli was commissioned to reconstruct the middle finger of his right hand, the artist used the most popular technique of that period by smoothing the marble with hydrochloric acid, a process that proved destructive to the material in the following centuries.

In 1872, given the precarious conditions of conservation, it was decided to move the statue inside the Accademia Gallery, where it can still be visited today.

To participate in a tour and admire Michelangelo's David with an expert guide, contact our information and reservations office at 055/2670402 or click HERE!


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The Uffizi Gallery houses the largest collection of paintings from Romanesque period to the 18th century. Nowadays the Uffizi still accommodates famous masterpieces exhibited in chronological order