Powerful, too powerful to behold

Before we made our first trip to Italy, I read several books about Renaissance art and history. One of books was the “Season of Giants: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael” by Vincenzo Labella. In the book, Vincenzo Labella told an intrigue story of how the David statue was transported to the place for display:

“It took 28 months of furious activity to complete marble David.

To transport the monumental statue from Michelangelo’s workshop to its elected destination, a carefully devised cage had to be constructed. Suspended with thick hemp ropes inside its strong wooden bens, the David, standing fifteen feet high and weighting several tons, was pulled out of the workyard, to let it pass through the gateway, the arch above it had to be broken… It began its journey at midnight on May 14, 1504…

It arrived in the square on the 18th at noon; it took about forty men to move it, with fourteen beans underneath it to let it roll on, and the beams were moved with each step. It took until the 8th of June to set it up on the steps of the palace.”

When we arrived in Florence, the Academy Gallery was the first place we wanted to visit. We tried to get there early in the morning and thought we’d beat the crowd. But, the long waiting line started long before we got there.  While waiting, we chatted with a gentleman who was with his two teen grandkids. He told us that he and his wife used to come to Italy once a year; after his wife passed away, he decided to bring his grandkids to Italy every year. He thought that they would remember the trip and appreciate what they learned from the trip someday. He then asked if we had been Italy before, I replied that it was a trip of our lifetime. He said, “I think you probably will come back again and again after this trip…” I still remember his smile vividly.

When it was our turn to approach the statue, I was numbed like everyone else. A while later, I let the story of the “three Renaissance giants” play in my mind…

As Labella described in the book that the David was “Powerful, too powerful to behold”. Indeed.

The gentleman was right, we kept going back to Italy again and again after our first trip to Italy.

“The language, history, art, and places in Italy are endless—two lifetimes wouldn’t be enough.”                 — Frances Mayes “Under the Sun of Tuscan”

40 thoughts on “Powerful, too powerful to behold

  1. Finally have a chance to read this. I love it. I wish I could write like you. There are so much to write about Italy, but I just couldn’t find the words. I was numbed (like you said). And I am still.
    Thanks for letting me know about this post. I truly enjoy reading it. Good night!


  2. And you keep coming back :D. What a marvelous story Amy. I have missed it before. It would have been such a shame, if I had not discovered it. Thank you for providing the link dear.


  3. I agree…this iconic statue is absolutely mesmerising. I found Michelangelo’s ‘Dying Slaves’ now in the Louvre, equally powerful. Seeing the ‘Last Supper’ is my next renaissance dream 🙂


  4. Regarding your comment about comments going to spam, I notice that occasionally, but not recently. Sometimes the browser I use creates problems, so I try to use Firefox or Chrome.


  5. Italy, with all its riches, is a place of which I never tire. While David is among the most impressive works, there are so many more, some in the most unexpected places.


  6. Moving David was quite a feat in 1504 I see, but worth the effort even after all these years. I would love to visit Italy! It is very nice of you to share your experience.
    This is just one of the reasons I enjoy your blog. I am honored to nominate you for the Reality Award and the One Lovely Blog Award! Please pick-up your award at http://grandmothermusings.com/2012/10/20/a-lovely-touch-of-reality/ Copy and Paste the Award to your blog and follow the rules of acceptance. I wish you many blessings. Congratulations!!


    • Every time I think about this effort aside of the art creation, I’m teary. Thank you for letting me sharing. BTW, I’ve begun reading you book that I downloaded last week. I read it word by word, let myself enjoy the “Sound of Water”. Thank you so much, Valerie!


  7. You know how I feel about David’s statue during my 1000 followers post. Have you read “The Agony and The Ecstasy”? Bloggers commented it on that post, and I surely picked it up.
    Always love to read about how delicate the creation was. Great post, Amy.


    • 1,000+ followers! You’ve created a kingdom, Rommel! Be able to sharing stories like this one with you who love and know arts more than I do is a wonderful feeling.


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