Celebrate summer with Botticelli's verdant (albeit springtime) scene of the goddess of love and beauty being born from the sea.Read more
Located in the Galleria dell'Academia, Florence, Italy
A full-size image is here
- Where did "David" come from?: His name comes from a Biblical story about a young man named David who beats the giant Goliath using a rock and sling. Closer look: David's left arm is holding the sling, which continues behind his back. (See close-up below)
- Wiggle Those Toes: Michelangelo's figures, both male and female, are often athletic and muscular. Another character of his work is how the big toe is separated from the second toe. This may seem totally random, but it's how later artists would either pay homage to him or make fun of him in their own work. Closer look: See David's (literally) chiseled abs, arms, and legs. David's left foot has a big toe that is distinctly separated from the rest of his toes. (See close-up below) This is much clearer if you ever see Michelangelo's work in person. Another examples is Michelangelo's Moses.
- Lean Back: David didn't just happen to show up with that confident stance. He's standing in a pose called "contrapposto" which is kind of big deal in Art History. Closer look: David's weight is on his right leg, which is straight, while his left leg is relaxed. This makes his body have an S-shaped curve that makes him look more life-like. In addition, since marble is really heavy, artists have come up with tricks to counterbalance the statue's weight. Behind David's right leg is a small tree that acts as a backdrop but also a support for the statue's weight. (See close-up below)
Your calendar doesn't have you going to Florence anytime soon? (Mine doesn't either...) Not a problem. Where to see Renaissance art like this near you:
- San Francisco: Admission tickets to the Legion of Honor include same-day admission to the de Young, so while you're there check out Friday Nights at the de Young.
- Stanford: The Cantor Arts Center is right on campus. Admission is free and the café is delicious!
- New York: The Met is open late Fridays and Saturdays. The Great Hall Balcony Bar overlooks the Great Hall, and when it gets warmer the Roof Garden and Martini Bar has a great view of the city.
- Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago has a Members Only Happy Hour.
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All images, videos, and articles are linked to their respective sources. Elements of this post were also drawn from the following: