Michelangelo’s David: best ever case of “upcycling”..? 😉
Michelangelo’s David is one of the most iconic masterpiece not only of Florence, but of the whole mankind. Nevertheless, the huge David’s statue had a troubled life, and that, even before its birth…
Michelangelo’s David: a backward in time trip
Present time. Well, almost: 1991. Michelangelo’s David statues is 487 years old, at that time.
A toe and marble tale…
Piero Cannata: unemployed, Italian, manages to sneak into the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence with a hammer, and he attacks the marble giant, breaking its left foot toe.
Cannata was immediately stopped and, fortunately, the manage was repairable.
As we will see it wasn’t the first and only bad day in David’s life, but this time science could turn something good out of the attack.
During the restoration works very small fragments of the David’s broken toe were used by the Istituto di Struttura della Materia in Rome to track down the exact origin of the marble used for the statue (you can read here the whole story).
We always knew that David’s marble was from the Carrara Apuane Alps quarries, but now we know exactly from which one: the Fantiscritti quarries in Miseglia, around 130 km / 80 mi from Florence.
Generally speaking, knowing the exact raw material used for artworks dramatically improves the accuracy and quality of the restoration.
But that huge marble block from Miseglia couldn’t imagine it would have taken so much time for it to become a masterpiece…
(not) the Michelangelo’s David: the statues that were not there
The David statue was sculpted by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504.
But the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore the Cathedral’s – we could say – “board of directors”, had bought and brought to Florence that huge stone block forty years before!
The original plan was for it to be used for a statue by Agostino di Duccio, a giant statue of a prophet for the Cathedral itself.
The project was abandoned, and the marble laid unused for ten years, when another sculptor, Antonio Rossellino, gave it a try, again with no results.
Apparently, for a big marble block, you need a “big” artist! 😉
Michelangelo will be able to carve the statue from the block “as it is”.
A masterpiece was born.
(not) the Michelangelo’s David: a “politically uncorrect” statue…
A masterpiece that, lots of years before the Cannata episode, will be at risk for political reasons: it was attacked by the Florentine anti – Medici faction when the statue was moved to Palazzo Vecchio.
Lots of troubles for a masterpiece!