Whimsical city

Friday, November 19, 2010

Greetings from Florence, Italy

Another much anticipated postcard posted by Bernie and Sid from Europe has arrived at my mailbox again. This time from Florence, Italy! The first sight of the postcard caught me by surprise though. A naked man. In toto. LOL. After reading the postcard and embarking on a brief research myself, the "naked man" is David. Not just any David but "the David". The much well-known and well-respected statue sculpted by Michaelangelo himself in 1504. This masterpiece was accepted to be one of Florence's greatest sculpture. So who is this David exactly?

Any Christian would be familiar with the story of David and Goliath from the Bible. For a brief recollection, the history of D & G (not Dolce & Gabbana) started when the Philistines initiated war with the Israelites. Philistines was led by a giant measuring over 9 feet tall and wearing complete FULL armor (I emphasize on the word FULL because if you read the Bible, his armour is no joke) by the name Goliath. He was arrogant and challenged the Israelites ruthlessly to fight him. Saul, the King of Israel together with his army were helpless. And this was when David, only a teenager then, volunteered to fight this big giant. When Goliath saw David, it was not surprising that he laughed and cursed at David. Instead of being intimidated by Goliath (which is only reasonable), David said to the big giant, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.." 

As Goliath charged towards him, David reached into his bag, took out a stone and slung it towards Goliath. The stone struck Goliath straight into his forehead and it was this one blow that brought this giant to fall facedown on the ground. David claimed victory over Goliath by killing him with the Philistine's sword and be-headed him.

Michaelangelo's David was sculpted exceptionally and carefully to display David's character to the public, which was why the renowned artist [slash] architect [slash] scholar [slash] great sculptor took 3 years to finish it. 

If one were to guess how would Michaelangelo carve his David, it would probably be the moment when David triumphed over Goliath's defeat, i.e. the be-heading of Goliath. Instead, Michaelangelo sculpted David standing in his ownself, every part of his body was detailed in expressing the power and strength exerted by David. David's hands, face, the out of proportion neck which is bigger than half his chest; were all crafted exquisitely to symbolise what was referred to as "physical strength and the intellectual reasoning of man."

This 4 1/2 metres high statue stood majestically at the Academy Gallery in Florence.
An interesting piece of sculpture. Say no more. He's David by Michaelangelo.

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