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Piazza della Santissima Annunziata (Next to the Accademia)
During the tourist season, there is usually a long line to enter the Galleria dell’Accademia (a good reason to procure a reservation online before visiting). While the people waiting in line at a museum like the Uffizi might have an assortment of individual motivations to visit, nearly all of those waiting to enter the Accademia are there for the same reason: this is where Michelangelo’s David lives. The Accademia was originally founded in the late 18th Century as an art school (as one might infer from the name), with great works of art brought in over time as subjects for the students to copy. Probably the greatest to arrive was David in 1873, which was being moved indoors from its original position in the Piazza della Signoria to protect it from natural and human elements. As the copying of older works subsequently faded from fashion, many of the other masterpieces found their way to other museums (the Uffizi in particular), until the present, when a typical tourist’s summary of the Accademia might be “David … and some other stuff”.
Anyway, here’s David. This picture was taken with a certain amount of risk, as photography is forbidden in the Gallery (there’s a woman posted near David who yells in an authoritarian voice at anyone venturing to point a camera). But the crowd is such that it’s difficult to soundly admonish all practitioners of oafish behavior.
David, Michelangelo (1504)
Michelangelo completed David in 1504, when he was 29 years old, working with an
oddly-shaped piece of
are collectively known as “The Slaves”, or sometimes “The Prisoners”, as one
can see enough of the figures to easily imagine them struggling to escape from
the stone they’re encased in. Most of
them were intended for a grandiose tomb Michelangelo had designed for Pope
Julius II (more on him when we get to Rome), a constantly-interrupted lifelong
project which ended up being downsized considerably. The
David, Bearded Slave and St. Matthew
HD Video (17.1 MB) SD Video (2.7 MB)
St. Matthew (unfinished), Michelangelo (1505-06)
The Bearded Slave
One large room, called the 19th Century Room, is filled with plaster statues, many created by the early students.
Monument to Elisa Baciocchi, Bartolini
The Nineteenth Century Room (SD Video, 2.5 MB)
There are also a lot of paintings in the Gallery, mostly pre-Renaissance. Again, some of these pictures are from a visit in the year 2000.
At one point during our visit we could hear rain pounding down outside, and after we exited, we were caught in another downpour. We ducked under an awning across from the Accademia and didn’t get too wet. We felt sorry for the unsheltered people waiting in line to get in, but not too sorry to take pictures of them.
the rain let up, we did some shopping at the
Waiting in the Rain
HD Video (18.2 MB) SD Video (8.0 MB)
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