Michelangelo’s statue of David
The work on one of the finest examples of Renaissance art, the statue of David, began in Florence 510 years ago. Although Michelangelo was only 26 years old then, it was decided to commission the creation of the Biblical figure to him.
Michelangelo had already demonstrated his skills in the renowned Tondo Doni, but the challenge of the new commission was to work with the block of marble that had been already worked on by two other artists. This is why, it is believed, that Michelangelo had somewhat distorted the statue’s proportions: the statue is unusually slender, which is seen from the side, and its large head and hands, particularly the right one, protrude the overall balance.
The enlargements, however, could have been done intentionally. The statue was originally thought to be placed along the roofline of the east end of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, a cathedral in Florence. Therefore, they may have been accentuated to make the symbolic parts of the statue visible from below.
However, due to its size, it proved to be impossible to mount the statue on the roof of the cathedral. So it was placed in the Piazza della Signoria, symbolizing the spirit of the Florentine Republic liberated from the power of the Medici.
Now the statue is located at the Accademia Gallery in Florence, and a replica is standing at its original location.