Brain Food #484

The hidden strengths of David

Thoughts of the day

A year ago, I wrote that today was the day Michelangelo’s statue of David was unveiled in Florence for the first time. The statue is always worth a revisit, not only to admire its beauty, but also the significance of the story behind it.

David is a story about underdogs. As such, Michelangelo hid the famous sling that gave the fatal blow to David’s intimidating enemy, Goliath, because the victory had nothing to do with physical power and weaponry, but with intelligence and the ability to recognise one’s own strengths.

David was initially commissioned to be placed on top of the city’s grand cathedral. Having then realised it was too beautiful to keep at such a distance from the crowds, the leaders of Florence decided to have it placed instead in front of the town hall. This, according to some art historians, might also explain why David’s hands are disproportionally large compared to his head — the sculpture was made to be looked at from below, and from afar.

What we make will not always end up being used in the way we intended it to. The work itself might have hidden strengths that even the maker may not immediately identify, a closer look being necessary.

10 Facts about Michelangelo's David. Read now - City Wonders

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