I wasn’t expecting to see David so early. I thought he would be deeper into the Accadamia but there he was at the end of the hall, lights illuminating his white chiseled marbled body. The art passed by in a blur as I approached David. He was bigger, taller than I had expected standing 4 metres high. His wavy, curly hair, smooth face and eyes that stared blankly back at the crowd. If David was this tall then Goliath really must have been a giant.
MichaelAngelo had taken three years from 1501 to 1504 to carve David, his thick broad shoulders, his taut stomach with a perfectly matching six pack, muscles and veins protruding from his arms and hands. David looked more like an athlete, a Hollywood action hero, a gym rat would be proud of this body.
MichaelAngelo wasn’t the first person to be commissioned for this piece, first it was Agostino, then ten years later Rossellino however his contract was terminated soon after. The marble was neglected for 25 years being exposed to all the elements in the yard of the workshop. MichaelAngelo at the time was 26 years old when he won the rights to sculpture David.
David’s upper body may be shaped like a body builders. His legs though were long and slender in his left hand David held his sling shot slung over his left shoulder like he was on his way to battle the Goliath. Its depicted differently to famous sculptures by Donatello and Verrocchio’s statues where David is standing victorious over the head of Goliath.
David, MichaelAngelo’s sculpture was way too heavy to be placed on top of the Duomo, so it stood in Piazza Della Signoria , outside the town hall before being removed in 1873 and displayed in the Accadamia to protect it from damage. The Accadamia holds other great work from other artist as well as the four unfinished slaves by MichaelAngelo.
It’s fitting that MichaelAngelo had an inferior piece of marble to mould David after all David should have been inferior to Goliath but all it took was one shot from his sling to become one of the most loved biblical stories. For David to become a masterpiece it just needed the hands of a master artist and that artist was MichaelAngelo.
Buy the skip the line pass for the Accadamia Museum because waits can be over 2 hours to enter the museum. We got our pass 45 minutes before the entrance time shown on the pass and we were allowed to enter even though there was a line of people waiting.
Disclaimer: photos were taken from the Wikipedia David site as photos are not allowed to be taken in the Accadamia