Curiosities about Michelangelo's David

Curiosities about Michelangelo's David


Michelangelo's David is an undisputed masterpiece of the Florentine art history. People come from all over the world to admire, among other things, the most famous marble statue by Michelangelo. In Florence you can admire three David, but only one is the original one, the David housed in the Accademia Gallery.

We already know a lot of things about Michelangelo's marble sculpture but now we want to tell you some trivia that few people know.

1. The world is full of copies

We have the original but there are copies of David around the world, from London to Kentucky.Only in Florence we have two copies, one in Piazza della Signoria and the other at Piazzale Michelangelo.

2. The David is a man of power

The right hand of the statue is really huge compared to the rest of the body.It would seem almost disproportionate, but there is a reason: a man of power in the Middle Ages was called "manu fortis" (strong hand), as the David is.

3. He broke an arm and also a finger

Yes, over the years he has had accidents.The worst was that of 26 April 1527 when in Florence, while a crowd of rioters hurled furniture to soldiers outside the Palazzo Vecchio, a chair struck the David left arm and broke it into three points. No plaster cast for him, but three copper nails and he returned as new.

The latest incident dates back to 1991 when a mad destroyed a finger of the left foot with a hammer. Anyway, the finger was fixed.



4. It weighs almost 6 tons

With its 4.10 meters, David weighs almost 6 tons, as 80 grown men. All that Carrara marble weighs, definitely.

5. It is considered the symbol of Florence

David showed the virtuous man victory over the tyrant. The city identified with the statue and used it as a symbol. Which is hardly surprising given the famous proud and independent character of the Florentines.

6. The original marble was damaged

The giant block of Carrara marble that was used by Michelangelo for David had already been badly rough hewed fifty years earlier by a certain Agostino Duccio who had abandoned it. It was so ruined that no one else wanted to sculpt it. But Michelangelo was not discouraged and he accepted the challenge to carve this marble block.

7. Proportions are not perfect

We said about the hand. But there are other parts of the body that actually do not follow the canonical proportions.But it is not a coincidence, nor a mistake. Michelangelo has enlarged or reduced some items in order to emphasize some details and leave others in the background. In this way David seems highly expressive.

8. A muscle is missing

The majestic statue of David, have always been admired for his physical perfection, but actually he lacks a muscle. Two anatomy professors - Massimo Gulisano and Pietro Bernabei of the university of Florence - confirmed it during a conference.They highlight a gap on the right side of the back, between the spine and the shoulder blade. In reality, however, it was not a mistake, Michelangelo was aware, as it emerged from a letter, that, because of a defect in the marble block, the muscle could not be reproduced.