The Statue of David is one of Michelangelo’s most well-known pieces. It took him four years to finish, though it had been started decades before.
Many people think it is famous due to the fine details on the sculpture that make it look lifelike, besides being slightly out of proportion. While that is a part of it, that isn’t the only reason the statue is so famous.
Instead, it has a lot to do with the history and what the statue represents. David was sculpted for the city of Florence to represent the city’s similarities to the man that beat Goliath, such as strength, beauty, and intelligence.
Who Made it?
Michelangelo made the Statue of David. He was given a piece of marble that two other sculptors had worked on when he was commissioned to do the work.
This is one of the reasons why Michelangelo’s Statue of David is not proportional, despite the artist being considered a master of proportion.
In addition to the Statue of David, Michelangelo also worked on other pieces such as:
- Bacchus – a statue created in 1497 said to represent a drunken woodland deity
- Pieta – This was a statue finished in 1499. It shows the body of Jesus in his mother’s lap after being crucified
- The Creation of Adam – This one was done in 1512 and is a painting done on the Sistine Chapel that shows Adam and God
When Was it Created?
The Statue of David was finished in 1504. However, it took about three years to create, starting in 1501. At least, that’s how long it took Michelangelo. Four other artists were commissioned first but were unable to work on the marble.
Originally, the Statue of David was started in 1464. However, after three other artists worked on the legs, the art wasn’t touched again for 26 years.
Both Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, as well as others, were considered for the job, but Michelangelo eventually won out. David was finished when Michelangelo was 29.
The whole piece was sculpted from one giant piece of marble. The statue itself is 17 feet tall and weighs over 6 tons, and all of it came from one large slab.
What is it Made of?
The Statue of David was carved out of marble. Specifically, it was made from white marble gathered from the Carrara and Tuscany quarries.
It was originally planned to be used by placing it on top of a church, the Florence Cathedral. However, at the end of it, the statue was determined to be too heavy and too big.
Instead, a group of artists got together to decide to place it at the Piazza Della Signoria, now known as the Palazzo Vecchio.
This is one of the reasons why David has degraded so much over time. Marble is easily worn down over time due to constant touching and vibrations from nearby foot traffic.
What Makes it So Important?
The Statue of David is considered to be a symbol of strength and beauty in your youth. The man in the marble was said to be the same David who fought Goliath in the bible.
David from the bible was considered a symbol of Florence due to his strength, courage, and perseverance. Florence was constantly surrounded by threats at the time and felt a connection to this biblical character, and this statue became a symbol of their perseverance and similarities.
There is also a lot of importance in the statue itself. Michelangelo managed to carve out the ideal form with highly detailed anatomy that made it unique. Also, the statue was David as a young boy, not after killing Goliath, like many variations of David.
Where is the Statue of David?
Currently, the Statue of David is located in the Accademia Gallery in Florence. This gallery is located close to Piazza del Duomo. The statue was moved here in 1873.
In the place where the statue was originally located, there is now a replica to keep the history alive. Now, it does more than just represent artistic skill. It represents a wide amount of history, including civil unrest and liberties.
The statue was moved to protect it from further weathering and damage by people. In a gallery, it is more protected, and people can come and see it and learn about its history.
Final Thoughts on Why Is Statue Of David So Famous
The Statue of David is more than just an expensive art piece. It took many decades to make and finish, coming into Michelangelo’s hands only in the last four years.
However, while it has beautiful detail and is amazing for its accuracy about the human body, it also has a lot of history about Florence’s civil unrest and strength.
Though it wasn’t ever placed where it should have been, it still served to be an important part of history.