Sunday, August 28, 2016

Michelangelo's David

If someone one asked me the most beautiful man made thing I've seen in real life, the David is probably number one.

That is a big statement.

It's crazy, there are a few duplicates of the David, one in Forest Lawn in Los Angeles, and two around Florence.  It doesn't make sense but they do not even come close to the beautify of the original.

I wish I could say I was moved as much the second time I saw it as the first... but it wasn't like that.  It was still impressive, absolutely amazing, but I will always remember the first time I saw it.  I have a never ending battle of my thoughts of photography.  Especially with the invention of digital photos, traveling has become more about taking pictures than anything else.  For the good and for the bad, that is how it is.  It's wonderful to be able to remember the memories better but worse because anywhere and everywhere you go there are so many pictures being taken it's almost impossible to not get in someone's picture.

I bring this up at the David because the first time I saw the David, pictures were not allowed.  This time, I guess they changed their policy and hence, we have some great pictures!  So for good and for bad, here's the David!

Here's what I had to say about the David back in 2012 when I saw him the first time.

Our next stop was at the Academy, the museum of the David. Yes, we did not mess around. We went straight for the good stuff. Now before I go on any further, I get it. I completely recognized there was a chance that I was going to be extremely disappointed. I have experienced that disappointment many times as the art snob that I have become. I remember standing in line for hours, wandering around the huge building and finally getting to the Mona Lisa and saying, “Are you kidding me? That is it? It's so small! You can't even get close to it! It looks so much better in the pictures.” So as we were entering the Academy I tried to brace myself. I mean I pretty much was willing to sell my kidney in the end just to see this statue.... am I making it too big of a deal? And then I turned the corner and there he was. Now you can argue that it was because I built it up so much in my mind... but when I saw it, tears came flowing down my cheeks. (Don't worry I hurried away from my group and even Danielle because clearly this was kinda pathetic) I'm sitting here trying to think of how I could put into words what I saw and felt. Majesty. It was so much more spectacular that I even imagined. I just sat in a chair and stared.

I was reminded of the essay The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis. (I am going straight from memory since I can not look it up) But he talks about different things that God gives us to remind us of heaven. He talks about beauty and particularly art. When I saw the David today it made me long for heaven.

Our tour guide told us all sorts of things I already knew but one thing I had forgotten was how most other statues of David have Goliath's head under his foot or in his hand or something. Where this David is before he went to kill Goliath. I just sat and thought of how scary that would be. Going to slay a giant. But what faith David had. How often we have Goliath's we know we are supposed to slay... we need faith like David. If only we all had his rockin' body too! ;)

Anyway, point is.... unreal. I'm sitting here thinking of other things that we saw in Florence, but really the cathedral with the green, pink, and white marble was pretty amazing. The door of St. John the Baptist's baptistery was unreal. But nothing could compete with the David.

A few things I learned about the David I didn't know:
1. It was created to be put on top of the Duomo hence the kinda weird proportions.  Michelangelo created it for the viewing point to be from hundreds of feet below.
2.  It was created out of a horrible piece of marble that no one wanted.
3. The significance of David was David was Florence's mascot always facing the Goliath, Rome. 

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