"David" is a marble statue carved by the Italian artist Michelangelo. Born in 1475, Michelangelo was a Renaissance artist, known for his sculptures, paintings and architectural works. Michelangelo is responsible for the paintings on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, as well as the design of the domes of St. Peter's Basilica and the Medici Chapel.
Michelangelo began carving "David" in 1501 when the artist was only 25 years old. He created "David" from one large, single chunk of marble. Another artist had rejected the marble, deciding it was flawed. Michelangelo took over the project and three years later, "David" was completed. The statue is 14 feet, 3 inches tall.
"David" is in the Galleria dell'Academia in Florence, Italy. The statue was originally to go atop the Duomo, but deemed so beautiful it would be a waste to place it so high up. Instead, "David" took its place in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, where it became a symbol of government strength and power. It moved to the Galleria in 1892, and has been there ever since.
Created as a representation of an ideal human form, the statue depicts David as strong, able-bodied and ready to triumph over Goliath. Michelangelo intentionally sculpted "David" with a right hand disproportionately large compared to the rest of the figure. This was because, in the 1500s, people considered David "strong of hand."
"David's" nudity has sparked many debates. In 1939, there was a replica of the statue erected in Glendale California with a fig leaf added over the genitals. Presenters removed the leaf 30 years later. At the Albert Museum in London, another copy of "David" comes with a metal fig leaf. It hangs over the statue's genitals when dignitaries visit.
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