How Michelangelo’s David turned Renaissance Italy on its head

Oct 14, 2021 651

On January 25, 1504, a small committee of influential Florentines came together to decide on a location for a massive, brand-new statue of the Biblical hero David. Its creator, Michelangelo, had begun working on the 17-foot-tall sculpture under the impression that it would be placed on the rooftop of the Florence Cathedral. When builders proved unable to get the 12-ton block of solid marble off the ground, the committee assigned it a new home inside the city’s town hall, the Palazzo Vecchio.

Moving David proved cumbersome for numerous reasons, including the fact that the statue was extremely heavy. Forty strong, young men had to be recruited to haul the figure from Michelangelo’s workshop to the entrance of the Palazzo. Although it was only a half-mile away, the journey took four days. Once at its destination, David went on to replace another large Biblical statue, one made of bronze and sculpted by Donatello.

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