Sun, 21 Aug 2016
Watching David

From the New York Times :

Standing in front of the David was, by far, the most powerful experience I had ever had with a work of art. The statue is gigantic: 17 feet tall, three times the size of an actual man, the height of a mature giraffe — another fact that no one had ever told me. I had always assumed, based on the images, that the David was life-size. To find otherwise seemed like a category error, like arriving at the Taj Mahal to discover that it is actually the size of a walnut. There was an existential snap in my brain, a sudden adjustment of the relative values and proportions of every other object in the world, including me.

I know the feeling. It is an absolutely stunning work and many years ago I had the same reaction on my first view of the statue: amazement that it was so big.

The article describes some serious problems with the giant statue though, weak ankles that may make it susceptible to collapse in some circumstances. What a disaster that would be, even though we have a full size cast replica at the Victoria and Albert Museum (as does Florence itself of course).

Maybe things are not as bad as they can seem, although the museum director does worry about earthquakes. But as the outgoing director says :

We have known about these cracks for more than 100 years, he pointed out, and they aren’t getting any worse. The David is now perfectly upright, and he is one of the most closely monitored artworks in the world.

Let's hope the Italian's sort out the "antiseismic base" soon though. There is a good page on Michelangelo’s David at the Academia.org site.