Day 2 of day tripping!!
I thought I sweat a lot yesterday…
The last time I felt this gross was after I crossed the finish line of my final cross country meet. Today was a constant cycle of sweating, the sweat kind of drying, then sweating again. No lie my dress was soaked at one point so thank God I wore white.
Besides the heat, dehydration, swarm of tourists and having to run from the aggressive scammers who literally wrap their bracelets on your wrist and demand payment, today rocked. I would experience everything over and over again just to admire the amazing pieces of artwork and statues for a minute or two longer. Also, there were the oh so entertaining and creepy men who posed as statues until you got close enough for them to grab you. I really appreciate how Anthony embraced the man with a big smile, so typical, while Camille responded the way I would’ve, freaked out.
I am sure everyone will blog about the Statue of David so this post is not going to be original, however, it is absolutely necessary.
In all honesty, art and history are not subjects that I have ever been fond of. In high school, science, english and certain mathematics (lol anything other than trig) piqued my interest and I devoted the majority of my time to succeeding in those areas, while doing as little as possible to receive A’s in the classes I found less interesting. There were probably many reasons as to why I struggled to stay awake in history, but the most obvious was the teaching style of my professors. I was not taught in a way that had me creatively visualizing the stories of the past or message behind the artwork. I was given facts, dates, names and geography to memorize, which I would immediately forget after the test. This trip has opened my eyes to art and history. I know that sounds so cheesy but I was truly blind. I believe that a large part of it is because I am seeing the artwork in person rather than on a powerpoint and learning about them through Professor Duclaux and not a history book or wikipedia site. It truly makes a difference.
However, there is nothing Professor Duclaux could have said to prepare me for what I was going to see at the end of the Academia Gallery. When I walked into the final room, I was at a loss for words as I stood dumbfounded and tried to picture a man creating the 17 foot masterpiece that is the Statue of David. I cannot even fathom how difficult it must have been to craft such a life-like profile. One mistake and he could have ended up with a pile of stone or a horribly disproportioned young man. Not to mention, he did not have near the equipment that someone today would use to create such a piece. It is truly phenomenal and pictures will never do it justice.
While we stood with heads back and awestruck eyes, Professor Duclaux asked us the question that will never have a correct answer, “Is the statue a representation of David before or after he threw the stone?”. Personally, I believe it was before because of the emotion in the eyes, the position of his brows, and the obvious tension emanating from his anatomy. His diaphragm is sucked in, his right butt cheek is clenched and his eyes make me think he may have had a moment of doubt before he threw the stone. David had the Lord on his side but he was still human and I believe I that if I were him I too would question my ability to defeat a man who was so large he was considered inhuman, a giant.
I enjoyed observing the statue, its small, intimate details like the structure of the veins on the left hand versus the right hand and the curve of the flexed calf in his left leg. I think that maybe the reason Michelangelo never stated whether he crafted him before or after the stone was thrown is because he wanted there to be mystery behind the work of art. He left a permanent mark by created a piece that would be debated and discussed by thousands long after he passed on. I believe Michelangelo knew exactly what he was doing before each chip and carve made on the stone and he wanted his name and legacy to be remembered forever and unlike any other artist. One may say he was many negative things: greedy, rude, selfish; but I do not believe one can say he was not devilishly brilliant.
Oh and I couldn’t leave out the pictures of Ross as he aspires to be like the tourists of Florence. Gotta love it!