1504 Michelangelo’s Statue of David is unveiled

September 8, 2021

1504 Michelangelo's Statue of David is unveiled

On September 8th, 1504, one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces, Statue of David, was unveiled in Italy’s Piazza Della Signoria. The glorious 17-foot marble sculpture portrays a naked David contemplating his upcoming battle with Goliath. Unlike previous depictions that portray his victory over his enemy, this sculpture shows his apprehension and anxiety.

The sculpture had been commissioned in 1464 by the Opera del Duomo. It was supposed to be part of a series of statues that were to be placed on Florence Cathedral’s roofline. Agostino di Duccio’s original sculptor, whose lack of experience saw him select a marble block full of tiny holes, visible veins, and other major imperfections. Duccio quickly realized his error and dropped the project.

Antonio Rossellino took over after ten years but also deemed the marble block unusable. It lays in Opera del Duomo’s courtyard for an additional 25 years before Michelangelo convinced the authorities that he could finish the job.

A 26-year-old Michelangelo began working on a statue that his predecessors had chiseled, chipped, and considered unworkable. Fortunately, he was able to transform it into a perfectly imperfect piece of art. This art piece is perhaps what makes him one of the greatest sculptors that ever lived.

After its completion, the Cathedral Vestry Board, which included Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, felt that the David was too striking not to showcase. As a result, it was placed in Piazza Della Signoria, a public square, until it was later moved to Galleria dell’Accademia in 1873.

3 Comments

  1. Robert Nailor

    Enjoy these facts you learn a little history if you just take the time to read these short blurbs of history. Thank you so much and please keep them coming as some of these will stick in your memories and you can pass that knowledge on to you family and friends and then you all become more knowledgeable which is a great thing you should always strive to learn something new everyday!

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  2. Jane Inaura

    Love how Frank James narrates the stories in a few short paragraphs. Thank you!

    Reply
  3. James Ferrante

    I love your stories but there is a problem navigating your site – when I click on the Topic sentence in order to read the article a different article pops up.

    For instance, I wanted to read about the inventor of Coke dying and when I clicked on it up pops the heading for the First Paper back book, so I click on that to read about it and an article about Michelangelo pops up.

    Thanks,
    Jim

    Reply

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