Florence – The Birthplace of the Renaissance – Day 3 – Part 3

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You next make your way to the hall that is dominated by the large statue at the far end, Michelangelo’s masterpiece, “David.”  As you walk towards one of the world’s most famous statues, you may not realize it, but you are passing by some of the master’s other famous works, his Slaves.   These are a few of a series of statues Michelangelo began, but never completed, and it is this fact that makes them so remarkable for the viewer today.  These pieces give us a glimpse of the technique used by one of the greatest artists that ever existed!  You can almost feel the struggle of the figures, as they seem to fight their way out from the stone that enslaves them!

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The Slaves were part of Michelangelo’s design for the tomb of Pope Julius II della Rovere.  The bust of Michelangelo that one sees in the hall is by Daniele da Volterra, one of the great artist’s close friends.

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For many years, it was thought that the Pieta di Palestrina was also one of Michelangelo’s works, but now it is believed to have been carved by either Niccolo Menghini, or Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

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At the end of the hall, in a large circular space, you will find what is perhaps the most celebrated statue in the entire world, the masterpiece “David.”

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The “David” is the reason for the long lines outside of the Accademia!  Everyone is here to see this one statue.  Yet, even so, one quickly forgets the crowds surrounding them, when gazing up at this wonderful piece of art.  It is difficult to convey in photographs the power that this piece has!  One simply has to see it for oneself!  And I hope that each one of you gets a chance to do that, at some point in your lives.

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Don’t think for a second that after seeing “David” that you are done with your tour of the museum.  There is much more to see, including the wonderful Gipsoteca Bartolini.  For years, whenever I would visit this museum, the Gipsoteca was closed to visitors.  One could only peek through the large glass windows of the wooden doors, to see a sampling of the wonders kept inside the room.  To my delight, the room was open during this visit, and I highly recommend anyone visiting the Accademia, to take the time and explore this small, but treasure-filled space.

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This gallery contains a selection of 19th-century plaster casts by the sculptor, Lorenzo Bartolini.

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If you take the staircase up to the next floor, you will be rewarded with magnificent paintings, all done between 1370 and 1420.

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The Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova, which dates from 1288, is the oldest hospital still active in the city of Florence.  It was founded by Folco Portinari, the father of Dante’s love, Beatrice.

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Next up: The end of our Florence stay, with visits to the Santa Croce District, Piazza della Signoria, and the Loggia della Signoria, to see Giambologna’s masterpiece, “The Rape of the Sabines.”

Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear.  If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for additional posts from Florence, as well as other Italian destinations.  Grazie!

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