David sculpture by Michelangelo at the age of 26

Other works on the subject of 'David and Goliath' in the same city

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Contrapposto see all


August 16


Michelangelo's colossal David is set up in front of the Palazzo della Signoria.
Botticelli is invited to join the committee appointed to decide where Michelangelo's David will be placed.

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Botticelli painter, man, goldsmith
Michelangelo military engineer, sculptor, painter, architect, poet


David sculpture


Rodrigo de Bastidas, sailing westward from Venezuela in search of gold, becomes the first European to explore the Isthmus of Panama.
Gaspar Corte-Real, Portuguese navigator, makes the first documented European landing in North America since the Vikings in c. 1000 A.D.
Amerigo Vespucci maps the two stars Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri, as well as the stars of the constellation Crux, which are below the horizon in Europe.
Italic type (cut by Francesco Griffo) is first used by Aldus Manutius at the Aldine Press in Venice, in an edition of Virgil.
Raphael is accorded a fully trained master.

May 12

Extract from a letter from Francesco Malatesta to Isabella d'Este mentioning Leonardo's viewing and valuation of some antique vases formerly owned by the Medici: > I showed them to Leonardo Vinci the painter. He praised all of them but especially the crystal one, because it is all of one piece and very clear.... and Leonardo said that he had never seen a better piece.

August 16

p12 1501, die XVJ augusti, Spectabiles . . . virim, the Consuls of the Arte della Lana and the Lords Overseers (of the Cathedral) being met together in joint assembly within the hall of the said Overseers, have chosen as sculptor to the said Cathedral the worthy master, Michelangelo, the son of Lodovico Buonarroti, a citizen of Florence, to the end that he may make, finish and bring to perfection the male figure known as the Giant, nine braccia in height, already blocked out in marble by Maestro Agostino grande of Florence, and badly blocked ; and now stored in the workshops of the Cathedral. p13 The work shall be completed within the period and term of two years next ensuing, beginning from the first day of September next ensuing, with a salary and payment of six broad florins of gold in gold for every month. And for all other works that shall be required about the said building (edificum) the said Overseers bind themselves to supply and provide both men and scaffolding from their Office and all else that may be necessary. When the said work and the said male figure of marble shall be finished, then the Consuls and Overseers who shall at that time be in authority shall judge whether it merits a higher reward, being guided therein by the dictates of their own consciences.

November 9

Leonardo da Vinci draws out 50 florins from his savings at Santa Maria Nuovo.

Kenneth Clark English museum director, aesthetician, television presenter, art historian, art critic, writer

On Michelangelo's David

Seen by itself the David's body might be some unusually taut and vivid work of antiquity; it is only when we come to the head that we are aware of a spiritual force that the ancient world never knew. I suppose that this quality, which I may call heroic, is not a part of most people's idea of civilisation. It involves a contempt for convenience and a sacrifice of all those pleasures that contribute to what we call civilised life. It is the enemy of happiness. And yet we recognise that to despise material obstacles, and even to defy the blind forces of fate, is man's supreme achievement; and since, in the end, civilisation depends on man's extending his powers of mind and spirit to the utmost, we must reckon the emergence of Michelangelo as one of the great events in the history of western man.

Source: 'Civilisation'

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