David is the symbol of the city of Florence

Saturday, May 23, 2009

People from all over the world flock to see the statue of David at the Galleria dell'Accademia. Many walk slowly around him to study him from every angle while tour groups stop in front of him crowding around the front of the statue. "No photos please," one of the curators yells out at one of the numerous tourists who have tried to sneak a photo of David. Students with backpacks on their backs, flip-flops on their feet, and shirts from their universities shuffle past us while we sit in chairs in front of David. I wonder where someone can stand to best admire David, but really there's no one spot: he is a symbol of perfection from every angle.

Couples stand hugging each other as they peer at David while the sun shines through the frosted glass ceiling in the shape of a dome above him. David is softly illuminated with the sun hanging above, and is even more beautiful. We enjoy the cool place to sit in front of David to take him in while other tourists gather around Michelangelo's masterpiece. Cameras dangle from some of the people's necks while a few men have a woman's purse slung over one shoulder.

A private tour guide sits down on a bench next to us with an American couple. I can't help but overhear her explanations of many interesting details about David. Her first comment is "David is the symbol of man's perfection." As a hero in the Old Testament, he is actually just a boy, but is represented as a man by Michelangelo. She maintains that all the details of David's body are anatomically perfect although she does explain that his head and hands are a bit out of proportion, but it was done on purpose. She said that the head represents the seat of the intellect while the hands are a symbol for power to build and create. She summed up the statue by saying, "David is the symbol of the city of Florence," and explained that David protects Florence and in turn Florence protects David.

Now that I understand the significance of David during the Renaissance, I appreciate him even more. I was so excited that I went to Piazza della Signoria right afterwards to snap a few photos of him. I stood under the Loggia dei Lanzi and admired him from afar while tourists walked right underneath him.

I love learning more about the art that is all around me and I wish I had more time to study up on it. I am not so interested in dates and names, but I am intrigued by the significance of a piece of art. Now each time I will walk by (as is the case of the copy in Piazza della Signoria) or run by (the copy of David in Piazzale Michelangiolo), I will certainly say a little thank you to David who is watching over my beloved city.

If you have any comments, please share them on the Living in Florence's FaceBook page. Grazie!

May 2009


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