On our arrival in Florence, Robin, our guide, took us first to the Accademia Gallery where one of the most celebrated works of art is housed, Michelangelo’s David. What a literally towering achievement it is, a 17-foot sculpture carved out of a single block of marble. Michelangelo was only 26 years old when he started, and completed the statue in two years. Robin pointed out that his right hand and head are larger in scale than the rest of his body, presumably deliberate exaggerations by Michelangelo so that they didn’t appear too small when viewing David looking up, perched high above in a niche in the Duomo where the statue was originally supposed to be placed. The Renaissance mastery of the human form is in full display, not only of anatomy but the subtleties of posture and muscle tension. No picture-taking was allowed in the gallery (the picture above is in the public domain). A replica of David sits in the Piazza della Signoria.
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