Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Michelangelo's David



    This is not an art blog. I am not an artist, and I don’t claim to be. But, Michelangelo’s statue of the Biblical King David makes one take not only a look into the artists mind but also into one of the most interesting places during one of the most intriguing time periods, Florence, Italy, during the high Italian Renaissance. David is a statue of King David before the slaying of the giant, Goliath.

   The political state of Florence, Italy during the age of Michelangelo was very precarious. Florentines were split politically between those who felt that the Medici family should be rulers and those that felt that the de Medici were tyrants who should never again set foot into Florence. The names of these political parties were the 'frateschi', which means followers of the monk, and 'arrabbiati', which means the enraged ones.

   The frateschi party were followers of Savonarola, a monk who preached against the outrageousness in which the wealthy lived thier lives. Savanarola ordered huge burnings of these decadensies that included art and especially books. The members of thr arrabbiati were typically the wealthy citizens of Florence who enjoyed the decidence in which their wealth enabled them to live.

   These political parties were at each others throats, literraly. The political disputes of the Renaissance are not comparable to what is considered harsh by today's standards. People were killed on the streets due to the warring factions. If one wanted to survive they kept their political alliegence to themself.

   One may ask what all of this has to do with a statue. Well, it has everything to do with Michelangelo's David. At the time of it's creation David made quite a political statement. As mentioned earlier the statue depicts King David before the defeat of Golith. David, at the time of the battle, was just a sheppard armed with nothing more than a slingshot against an heavily outnumbered army.

   David was seen as a huge frateschi monument. To them this now instantly recignizable piece of art was political propaganda. David was the victor against an army of far supiror forces. The statue's arm was even broken in three places during a political fight that broke out while the statue was being moved from the workshop where it was made to the Piazza della Signoria where it was housed until 1873.


"All art is pollitical. Otherwise, it would just be decoration"

   -Anonyomous, movie 2011

   

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