David and Neptune
Statues in Florence
Hmmm.... what can I say about my naked pals David and Neptune?? Well, first I'd like to say I admire anyone who can stand still naked in a pouring rain in the cold... that's gotta take some strength. While in the Palazzo Vecchio, in Florence, I first saw the massive statue of Neptune in the center of a spewing fountain. He was surrounded by mythical creatures such as horses, sea nymphs, and other gods and goddesses. After viewing this guy flashing me for about a minute, I coined a new term for this art form... "Renaissance Porn." Before I go any further, I want to say that I'm not some perverted, uncultured West Virginian boy who was like hillbilly meets the real world, I know that this sort of statuary is art. But I just had to say it, it was funny how Italians walked by not glancing at this buck naked guy that glared down at everyone proudly. In Italy, people saw this everyday, it was nothing to them except art. Of course, America has condemned this art form and nudity period. And some but not all Americans group all nudity into one category, "porn." So, I thought my statement was fitting.
The next statue I saw was David. Now keep in mind that the state David I saw in the Palazzo Vecchio was not the original, but a copy from the 1800's. The original David was moved in 1873 to the Galleria dell'Accademia.
This 18 foot statue was commissioned in 1501 by the Cathedral of Florence. Michelangelo was given a marble rock that had been damaged in the 1460's, which made work on the statue even harder and more tedious than it already would have been. David was completed on September 8, 1504 and it was believed to be the first free-standing statue mounted on a plinth since classical times. This new statue was regarded as a symbol of Florentine civic virtue.
Originally, David was to be placed atop one of the fašade buttresses of the Cathedral of Florence, but for political reasons, the grand council of the new Florentine republic decided to erect the statue in front of the main entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza della Signoria. David's left arm was broken in 1527 and was not repaired until 1543. It was not moved until 1873 when it was moved to its current location at the Galleria dell'Accademia.
Okay, back to my encounter with David... So, I see what I thought was the real, authentic David. This was amazing to me because I had always heard about this statue and I knew it was a work of art by Michelangelo so it was sort of a big deal to me. I thought it was odd that this statue was intended to depict King David of Israel, I didn't think you could flash a holy guy's genitals in public but I guess if the Italians say it's all right then it is.
Another thing I learned that I didn't know before was that he was tall. I thought he was at least 6 or 7 feet tall but it was actually 3 times that, 18 feet.
All in all my Renaissance Porn experience was a good one, which gave me a more open mind I guess you could say. Some Americans have stereotyped the fact that if you admire or look at a naked statue of any sex you are gay or lesbian. It isn't perverted or homo, it's art and maybe someday we can all look at it that way. Could you see a naked dude in the middle of Romney?