Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Museo dell' Academia

The Museo dell'Academia is famous solely because of one work, The Giant. Of course we forced ourselves to view the many other works of art on display in the relatively small gallery, and Linda was overjoyed to find an exhibition of Medici-era musical instruments, but in reality everyone comes to the Museo dell'Academia for one reason only, the David by Michaelangelo.

Again, it was free entry due to Cultural Week being on, but we wisely booked ahead to reserve a timeslot for entry because they only allow a certain number of people to pass through the museum at a time and there is always a long queue for those who have not reserved a time. €6 well spent.

Strictly speaking you're not allowed to photograph within the Museo dell'Academia however, this being Italy, I decided I would try to be furbo and take a few sly ones from the hip (or from the eye in one of my more daring moments).

Before coming to Italy, Linda and I watched a documentary on the Medici's which included some of the history surrounding David. Apparently it took Michelangelo 3 years to chisel this famous figure out of a single piece of marble, during which time the marble was dripped over by water to prevent it from breaking apart. For his part Michaelangelo rarely took off his clothes or shoes and became bonded to them. Nice!

Anyway, seeing the David in person really is something you have to do. It is quite amazing not simply because such an icon and immediately familiar, but because it really is a very powerful sculpture. In addition you get to see the Prigioni or slaves, the half-completed series of sculptures also by Michelangelo.

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