The topic for today is
continuation of two of my favorite
pieces of artwork in Florence
David by Michelangelo/ Location: The Academia Museum
You enter the room and your vision immediately zooms down to the end of the
hallway where Michelangelo's world famous David stands. He is remarkably enormous.
You walk slowly down the hall to get a closer view of this truly amazing piece
of artwork. When you get there, you study his striking pose with great interest-how
could this have been a symbol for the courageous Florentines?
David, sculpted from 1501-1504 by Michelangelo Buonarroti was a very famous
and important symbol for the Florentines during early Renaissance times. This
17 foot statue originally stood in The Piazza della Signoria, but was later
moved to The Academy Museum where it stands today. Michelangelo broke the
mold of David slaying Goliath by not showing him muscular and proud on top
of Goliath's head after slaying him, but instead before the killing of Goliath.
His striking look and posture shows his determination and strategic thinking
before the fight. Why then was this a symbol for the Florentines? The story
of David slaying Goliath was that if you had faith in God and believed in
yourself you could take over anything-even something ten times your own size.
During the early Renaissance times in Florence the Medicis, a powerful aristocratic
family, was ruling the city. The Medici family was large, sneaky and extremely
power hungry. Their version of David slaying Goliath was that strength and
force could kill anything. They believed victory and power was every man's
goal in life.
in the Piazza della Signoria is a sculpture commissioned by the Medicis. It
shows Perseus, muscular and strong, holding the head of the monster Medusa.
His pride is clearly visible from his mysterious smile and heroic pose. There
are guts and blood pouring out of Medusa's lifeless head. It is truly disgusting.
This sculpture was in a way saying to the Florentines that if they dared to
revolt against the Medici family their heads would be under Perseus' feet.
Micelangelo's David was sending a message to the Medici's saying that they
believed in themselves and with strategic thinking and faithfulness in God
they could overthrow their family even though they were 10 times the size
of the Florentines. The most remarkable thing about this is that the two symbolic
statues were standing right across from each other in The Palazzo Vecchio,
eyeing each other with determination to become victorious.
You then realize that David's determined pose and expression was not only
a symbol for the Florentines but also a symbol for the entire Renaissance
era. It portrayed the qualities of great importance during these times-personal
determination, inner strength, strategic thinking and many other humanistic
ideas that were to come and still exist in our ideas about the world today.