The Tribune: Michelangelo David

The square-shaped Tribune within the Accademia was designed by Emilio de Fabris, an Italian architect and finished in 1882.

With a fascinating history, this area of the Accademia Gallery is the center of attention for everyone who visits the museum.

One of seven major halls of the Accademia Gallery, the Tribune houses the world-renowned Michelangelo’s David under rounded ceilings and between circular archways. 

At the end of the Hall of the Prisoners, in the Tribune, stands the statue of David. 

History of the Tribune

Michelangelo’s famous David has been on display outside Piazza della Signoria since the beginning of the 1500s.  

In the 1850s, there was considerable debate over its preservation.

Consequently, it was determined to position David in the middle of a Tribune, beneath a stunning skylight, a halo-like dome at the culmination of the “Gallery of Ancient Paintings.”

The David was transferred from Piazza della Signoria to the Accademia in August 1873 in a wooden frame constructed for the task.

However, it remained inside the wooden cart outside the Accademia for nine years, and only in 1882 was it moved inside when the Tribune was fully complete.

This tribune is now a section of the Accademia Gallery. 

With our Accademia Gallery priority entrance ticket, you can unlock a seamless art experience and skip the lines.

Book a guided tour with a priority entrance to the gallery to learn more about the history of the Tribune and all other artworks in the Accademia.

Michelangelo’s David

Michelangelo’s David
Photo by Steve Barker on Unsplash

The Statue of David is regarded as one of the finest works of art in history and carved from a single slab of white marble with an intricate representation of the human figure.

It portrays the Biblical figure David, remembered for his lone stone victory against the enormous Goliath. 

The Tribune’s spherical, towering walls and curved ceiling house what is arguably Florence’s most famous piece of art, the sculpture of Michelangelo’s Statue of David.

It stands in the middle of the T-shaped intersection of two halls.

You can walk in a circle around the statue to see it from all sides. 

Side wings of the Tribune

Initially, the side wings of the Tribune Accademia Gallery displayed replicas of Michelangelo’s artwork and later tapestries.

The creations of history’s finest artists, including Bronzino, Cecchino Salviati, and Allori surround the David.

This aims to demonstrate these artists’ connection to Michelangelo’s life and work and the cultural impact his creations had on them.

A smaller right wing from The Tribune and a larger left wing from The Tribune, with branches leading to various halls, surround the Tribune.

Right Wing

In the right wing of the Tribune is a painting by Francesco Salviati titled Madonna and Child that is well worth seeing.

Bright, iridescent colors prominent in the painting are typical of Mannerist artists.

The use of forceful poses and improved torsion in the characters make Francesco Salviati and Michelangelo comparable.

When the people damaged the David statue in a riot in Piazza della Signoria, Francesco assisted in preserving the marble pieces of David’s arm.   

 Left Wing

You must pause to take in the artwork on both sides of the hall as you turn left from David.

The following are well worth your time:

1. Deposition of Christ by Bronzino

Completed in 1561, the painting in oil on the panel depicts Christ’s descent from the cross. 

The bearded man on the left, gazing outside, is believed to represent Bronzino’s self-portrait.

2. Deposition of Christ by Santi di Tito

This painting shows a Deposition, and the Golgotha crosses standing out against a transparent sky background offer an intimate, reflective tone.

The Virgin supports Christ’s body, almost entirely resting on the ground.

The large panel painted around 1590 is made in oil on a panel.

3. Coronation of the Virgin Mary by Alessandro Allori

The painting is a beautiful and vibrant paradise of dozens of flower species. 

Employed as the Virgin Mary’s conventional qualities, they have various symbolic interpretations.

Along the edge of the elegant, dark vase that holds the vibrant bouquet, Allori placed his signature.

1593 marks the time of completion of the oil-on-canvas painting. 

4. Annunciation by Alessandro Allori 

In a somber Florentine room from the 16th century, the Annunciation depicts the Archangel Gabriel approaches the Virgin Mary with a message and presents a white lily as a symbol of purity. 

The artist used oil on wood panels to make this painting in 1572-78.

Featured Image: GalleriAaccademiafirenze.it

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