Saturday, September 8, 2012
On September 8, 1504, Michelangelo’s statue of David was unveiled in a public square in Florence. David the giant-killer had long been a politically important symbol in Florence, from the time Donatello created his bronze David for the Medicis in 1440. Michelangelo’s 17-foot statue (sculpted 1501-1504) represented the defense of civil liberties flourishing in the Florentine Republic, an independent city-state threatened on all sides by more powerful rival states and by the designs of the (now exiled) Medicis. To that end, David’s eyes flash a stern, warning glare directly at Rome. The original was moved to Florence’s Accademia Gallery in 1873.