Many people consider the statue of David to be the most beautiful and impressive work of the "Renaissance". Now the original statue is set in Florence at the Academy of Fine Arts. The last restoration of this creation by Michelangelo Buonarroti was held in 2003 and now it can be viewed by visiting the Academy building.
In this article, we will tell you about the statue itself, how to get to the Academy of Fine Arts and why it was the Bible David that became one of the symbols of Florence.
Over this statue, Michelangelo worked more than three years. For the then young sculptor, and he was 25 years old, it was a challenge. Nobody took up the block of marble, which for several decades lay in Florence.
Previous sculptor Donatello just started his work, but death prevented him. His student refused to continue the work of the master. And Michelangelo accepted the task for a statue of a block of marble figure of the Old Testament hero David.
In the year 1504, when the work was finished, the statue was so beautiful that there was controversy about where to install it. Initially, it was planned to be installed next to the Florence Cathedral, but many realized that it was more reasonable to put it on the central square. The statue had not only religious, but also political significance.
David, who slaughtered the warrior giant Goliath with just one shot from the sling, was very close to the inhabitants of Florence. The city-republic of Florence was a small, but proud country, which was constantly threatened by the invasion of much stronger rivals. From the north, France threatened, and from the south the Papal region. Now you understand why the image of David was so popular in the works of art of Florentine authors.
The statue was decided to be installed near the Palazzo Vecchio, the main administrative building of the city. The statue was decorated with a wreath that was made of gold or copper (not exactly established) and the sling and some other elements of the statue gilded.
There she stayed until 1872, when, in order to preserve the masterpiece, he was decided to transfer him to the building of the Academy of Fine Arts. On the square in 1910 a copy was installed (in the photo on the left).
With the statue there were many adventures, it went through several restorations, which we will talk about at the end of this article.
How to get to the Academy of Fine Arts, where there is a statue of David.
Unfortunately, there is no metro in Florence, and the bus is the main transport in the city. The Academy is located in the heart of the city, right at the intersection of the main routes. It is very likely that one of the buses going to the academy stops near your hotel.
Look for buses with numbers 6, 14, 19, 23 and 31, they need to get to the stop "Ss. Annunziata - Istituto Degli Innocent ". Or take buses 1, 11, 17, 19, 52, 54, 82, C1 or G to the stop "Ricasoli - Gran Caffe 'San Marco".
If these buses in the area of your stay do not go or you are just afraid to get lost, then you should take a taxi. It's expensive, but reliable. Just tell the driver the phrase "Le Gallerie dell'Accademia" (le Gallerie del Accademia), he will understand your desire exactly.
The building itself is not very noticeable, it may be difficult to identify it. The arch in the photo on the right is the most notable part of it.
The ticket at the checkout costs (at the time of writing) 6.5 euros, which for Italy can be considered a very "democratic" price.
What to look for when you look at the statue of David.
The first strong impression you get without our advice will come from the size of the statue. Of course, the impressions from the examination of works of art are different for all, we understand that all this is very subjective. The statue has a height of 5.16 meters and another stand raises it by 20 centimeters. Looks biblical hero majestically.
Agree, not all objects of a large size make a strong impression on people, there is a difference between something simply great, and what seems grandiose. The statue of David by Michelangelo Buonarroti is just a good example of the second case, it does not have gigantic dimensions, but it looks impressive.
The second thing you should pay attention to is David's view. He is tense, because he is preparing to fight with the mighty Goliath.
According to legend, Goliath was not just a big, but simply a huge warrior. His height was 2.7 meters. Most likely it is a mistake to translate ancient measures of length or simply deliberate embellishment of victory, which in the ancient world was not disdain.
Recall that David emerged victorious from this fight, striking Goliath with a single shot from his sling. On the statue, he is pictured with this weapon. This sculpture is different from many others, depicting this plot. Usually, David is depicted after the victory, and Michelangelo showed the hero before the fight.
And do not forget that the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence has collected many more interesting things, besides the famous creation of Michelangelo.
"Adventure" and the restoration of the statue of David.
The first "adventure" happened to the statue even at the time of its transportation to the Palazzo Vecchio. A group of supporters of the overthrown dynasty of the Medici tried to damage the sculpture, but nothing good happened to them. The second danger threatened the statue as early as 1512 when lightning struck the base, fortunately, there was no damage to the statue itself.
In 1527, during the uprising, the statue was badly damaged, as supporters of the republic took refuge in the Palazzo Vecchio and threw stones and even furniture on the enemy. The sculpture suffered a left arm and a sling. After the riots subsided, the statue was restored.
In 1843, it was decided to restore the statue, since 350 years of its existence in the open air greatly spoiled the appearance. The methods of restorers of the 19th century were simply awful. Used acid and cutting tools, the top layer of marble was simply removed.
In 1991, one deranged Italian named Piero Cannata attacked the statue with a hammer. He managed to make several strikes before he was detained by the guards.
The sculpture damaged the fingers of the left leg. If you look closely, you will be able to see the traces of this incident.
The breakaway pieces made it possible for scientists to evaluate the state of marble, and the results of the research were depressing. It was decided to do a great job of restoring David Michelangelo.
In 2003, a comprehensive restoration was carried out, and now in Florence you will be able to look at David in the best possible way.
Have a nice visit to Florence and read our materials about Italy at chinainfoguide.info ( links can be found below ).