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.

Also 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.