Michelangelo’s David


Michelangelo, an Italian artist, sculpted the well-known statue of David at Accademia Gallery

The sculpture, carved from a single slab of white marble, depicts the Biblical figure David, who is represented rising and sporting a determined look on his face before his battle with Goliath.

Michelangelo finished it in 1504, and experts regard it as one of the most outstanding examples of Renaissance art.

About the Statue of David by Michelangelo

Situated at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, Italy, David by Michelangelo is renowned for its exquisite attention to detail and accurate depiction of the human body.

How tall is the Statue of David?

The height of Statue of David is a 17-foot marble statue, almost two stories tall, and took about three years to complete between 1501 and 1504.

The Statue of David in Florence is a well-known representation of the biblical tale of “David and Goliath.” 

It is believed that it was a real life real person Michelangelo’s David, the story of whom was taken from the Bible.

David is depicted in the statue as he prepares to slay Goliath while holding his slingshot, ready to engage the giant.  

This most recognized sculpture of the Renaissance period represents power and beauty in youth.

Originally intended to be displayed on the dome of Florence’s Cathedral, the statue has disproportionately large feet and a large right hand.

According to some art historians, Michelangelo made the hand large to represent David’s nickname, manu fortis, which means “strong of hand.” 

At the same time, the large feet are understood to strengthen the 17-foot (about 5-meter) tall, 6-ton statue. 

Traditionally, David has been shown as triumphant over the dead Goliath following his victory by artists, including Verrocchio, Ghiberti and Donatello.

But, for the first time, Michelangelo depicted David before the battle.

Florence Statue of David Location

The Galleria dell’Accademia (Accademia Gallery) houses numerous Michelangelo sculptures, including the famous Statue of David and some of his unfinished statues known as the Prisoners.   

At the Accademia Gallery, the famous Statue of David by Michelangelo is placed beneath a bright skylight, a halo-like dome towering over a long line of artworks.

If you intend to visit the museum, we recommend buying tickets to this famous attraction in advance because it can get incredibly crowded. 

Online tickets may be a few euros more expensive than those sold at the entrance.

But purchasing the Florence timed entrance ticket to michelangelo’s david will save much time wasted standing in long lines to buy tickets at the gate. 

Or buy the skip-the-line guided tour for a specific date to learn more about the statue’s history in your preferred language.

Michelangelo’s Statue of David

At 26, Michelangelo started one of his most recognizable sculptures, the David. 

Michelangelo worked alone without assistance, concealing himself behind a wooden cage for 18 months.

Even while the Pietà for St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, which Michelangelo finished two years earlier, demonstrated the young artist’s artistic brilliance, David established his fame.

That fame still lingers even today, 500 years later, luring eager tourists and art enthusiasts to Florence in search of its greatness.

As Michelangelo famously said, ”The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”

He truly did succeed in his pursuit of greatness.

To get a more in-depth knowledge of Donatello’s David vs Michelangelo’s David, check out the Accademia Gallery vs Bargello Museum page.

A Short History of Michelangelo’s David

The administrators of the Office of Works of the Cathedral of Florence, the Operai, commissioned the David statue for the cathedral in 1501.

Michelangelo was responsible for creating a statue of David from a marble block left unfinished by other artists many years earlier.

It was meant to be one of several sculptures along the cathedral’s roofline. 

However, at the unveiling in January 1504, everyone agreed it was too perfect to position it so high in the cathedral.

Thus, the Florentine administration decided to install the sculpture in the political heart of Florence, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. 

In 1873, they transferred the statue to the Galleria dell’Accademia to safeguard it from harm and further deterioration.


While the original Michelangelo’s David still stands tall in the Accademia Gallery, you can find two statue replicas elsewhere in Florence.

You can find an almost exact duplicate of the statue in Duomo Square (Piazza della Signoria), where it originally stood.

Another bronze replica of David is on a hillside in Michelangelo Square (Piazzale Michelangelo). 

Why visit Michelangelo’s David Statue? 

At the Accademia Gallery, you can get a close-up view of Michelangelo’s David, perhaps the most famous statue in the world.

Several factors make the Statue of David Michelangelo significant.

One of Michelangelo’s most fabulous creations is a Renaissance sculpture masterpiece. 

It is also one of Western art’s most well-known and enduring depictions of the human form. 

Additionally, the statue has come to represent the fortitude of the human spirit, as demonstrated by David’s triumph over the much larger Goliath. 

The statue has also been depicted in many works of art and popular culture over the years, making it an iconic representation of Florence.

It is a no-brainer for anyone who appreciates history and art. 

However, if you’re near Florence, you must see this masterpiece to understand the fuss.

Featured Image: GalleriAaccademiafirenze.it

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