Lo Store ufficiale del Polo Museale Fiorentino | Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della citta' di Firenze

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Museum - David

"Nor has there ever been seen a pose so fluent, or a gracefulness equal to this, or feet, or hands and head so well related to each other with quality, skill and design". With these words Giorgio Vasari attempts to define the reasons behind the marvel that the vision of David provokes in the observer. He continues by stating that the statue so far surpasses both in beauty and technique ancient and modern statuary that one needn't bother seeing other works in sculpture. At the end of 1501, Michelangelo obtained the permission of the "Opera del Duomo" to work a block of marble, which had been abandoned in the courtyard of the Cathedral of Florence, for the creation of the figure of the young Prophet, subsequently placed in front of Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza Signoria. David is represented in a meditative pose following his victory over Goliath according to an unusual iconographic interpretation in which the young hero is not portrayed in his traditional pose of triumph with one foot on the severed head of the defeated giant. His sling is also barely visible as though to emphasize how David owed his victory not to brutal force, but to his intellect and to his innocence. As soon as it was placed in front of Palazzo Vecchio, the statue became a symbol of liberty and of civic pride for the Florentine Republic. Surrounded by hostile enemies, the city identified itself with the young hero who, with the help of God, had defeated a much more powerful foe. In 1873, Michelangelo's statue was brought here to the Tribune of the Galleria, built expressly for it and, only in 1908, it was substituted in Piazza Signoria by the marble copy still there today. The bronze copy found in Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking Florence was executed in 1866.