That David played and it pleased the Lord
Michelangelos David is every bit as awe inspiring as its reputation. Our tour guide led us through the Accademia Gallery in Florence. We began the tour with a number of unfinished sculptures and several artists methods of creating them.
We then went into the music school to view, and learn about, a number of stringed instruments and pianos. ( Florence is the birthplace of the piano.) There were several Stradivarius violins and violas on display. As the story goes, one of them was purchased (by a Medici) as a status piece and was never played.
We (finally) made our way into the main hall, home to David. On the way down the hall our guide explained how Michelangelo worked from the front of the statue to the back, unlike most sculptors who worked around the statue, starting at either the top or bottom. The statues were in various stages of completion and our guide had a story about why they remain incomplete.
Finally we reached the culmination of our education, David. He is everything you expected. His hands, his musculature, tendons, veins, gaze and stance. Truly amazing, and to think it only required about 3 years for the 26 year old Michelangelo to complete.
The Uffizi, begun in 1560 by Grand Duke Cosimo de’ Medici was built to house the 13 Magistrates of Florence who oversaw production and trade. The Medici line ended with Anna Maria Louisa de’ Medici in 1743. She foresaw the demise of the Medici dynasty (1434 – 1737.) As the last, and childless, Medici she donated, and thereby preserved, the family wealth to the city of Florence.
We planned the day with only 30 minutes between our two tours. When you are on a roll you can do such things. Of course the limited reservations helped create our schedule for today.
Even the ceilings are amazing. They are in fact grotesque, an extravagant style of Ancient Roman decorative art rediscovered in basement walls that, at that time were called le grotte (the caves.)
Trying to describe the fabulous artwork would be an impossible (for me) task. Our guide led us through medieval to renaissance art and masters. She pointed out the various depictions of Mary and Jesus by Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo and da Vinci. She described how the use of color, perspective and proportion developed over the centuries. Just enjoy the pictures as we did the originals.
Rolling, rolling, rolling on the Arno river.