Italy: Visiting David & The Accademia

April 2, 2018

By Tab Byrum

A must see destination in Florence is “The Gallery of the Academy of Florence” or The Accademia, home to Michelangelo’s David statue as well as other statuary by Michelangelo and other artists and a large collection of painting by artists from Florence. The Gallery was founded in 1784  by the Grand Duke of Tuscany at that time, Pietro Leopoldo and today The Accademia is one of the most visited museums in Italy almost 1.5 million people passing through its doors in 2016. Join me today for a quick tour of The Accademia and a look at The David as well as other amazing sculptures in photos I took on our recent visit. Enjoy!!!

Obligatory selfie with The David (and the Michael), I’m not sure who all these other people are in the way. 

I have seen The David all my life in books, magazines, and movies but to see the real thing is awe-inspiring. When you think that this was carved from a single piece of marble by hand. 

The David was carved by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504 and is 17 feet tall. 

The detail on the statue is amazing as you can see in this hand, from the thumbnail to the way the skin rises up with the muscles and tendons pushing it up.  

In 1784 the Grand Duke of Tuscany converted a hospital next to the Accademia into a gallery for statues and busts so that students could better study the masters. Today it is filled with plaster casts from the 19th century by Lorenzo Bartolini, one of the great sculptors and professors at the academy.

Many of the sculptures are of people after they’ve died, many of them were the beginnings of what decorated people’s tombs. 

I’m always amazed when viewing these pieces at how they capture how fabric lays and the folds of the fabric, just amazing. 

Something to make you smile at the end, this is “Boy With A Dog” by sculptor Luigi Pampaloni, 1827. 

Words and images are my own.

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