I finally saw David. Not the guy in my class who I kept harassing for the homework assignment, who is also named David, but the actual statue of David by Michelangelo. Side note: I frequently ask the same person for answers as to where the field trip is and what the essay is supposed to be about because I often feel like I’m in the tall grass when it comes to what’s going on as part of my ongoing left brain hip check. I probably owed him a bottle of wine for his service, only that didn’t happen.
On a whim, while walking down the street near the Duomo, I decided to cross something off my list that had been on it since I touched down: seeing the statue of David by Michelangelo at the National. The line was short for once, the perks of being here in the middle of the day on a weekday, and I read my book in line while I waited for the museum like the cultured, civilized individual I hope that I am.
I spent the first half of my museum visit admiring the other statues first, trying not to let my eyes just glaze over them. I’d seen sculptures like this in the past, having seen the same mythological creatures carved in marble at the Met.
There they were, Greek and Roman gods and goddesses artfully splayed in throes of passion and sowing chaos, representing passion, beauty, and foley as they acted on their trifling whims. What’s not to like?
I was admiring these when I suddenly appeared at the statue of David himself. It was as if everything in the packed room had stopped and I was with him alone.
Michelangelo, with his God hands, created perhaps the most incredible piece of art I’ve ever seen. He’s shockingly tall, scaling up towards the ceiling, and sculpted so well you can see the veins in his hand. I wanted to reach out and touch him, which is now against the rules. I stood in front of him until I felt like I’d experienced him in his entirety, marveling at the human feat that he represents. Michelangelo’s brilliance reigns victorious, hence the fact that it has been around for hundreds of years and will be around for hundreds more.
Naturally, I believe that everyone should see him before they die, if they can. Afterwards, I walked across the street to the vintage book shop and had a look around at the Italian books before they closed. It was a fairytale day of girl-in-Italy-going-to-bookshops-and-museums. My parents can’t say that I didn’t get enough out of studying abroad.
Every time I saw something magical and Florentine that I’d wanted to see, I felt euphoric and relieved, no longer worried that something I’d wanted from my trip wouldn’t pan out. It was not long before I had an opportunity to cross something else off the list. Stay tuned.
The Tragic Queen,