We enter the Piazza della Signoria and find ourselves looking up at the statue of David. The statue was completed by the great sculptor Michelangelo. The Piazza della Signoria is the meeting place for locals and tourists and it has been the the political square of Florence for centuries. The statue of David holds great political significance for the people of Florence so it is appropriately placed. This statue is a copy of the real David which resides in The Academia del Disegno, unfortunately because we are so busy painting we do not have time to visit. I will save that one for my next visit to Florence.
The statue of David was designed to be viewed from below. David’s hands and head are larger than normal. This was done deliberately to emphasise the fact that strength and intelligence are equally important.
This statue of Cosimo I de’ Medeici, was done by Giambologna.
Giambologna, born as Jean Boulogne, incorrectly known as Giovanni da Bologna and Giovanni Bologna, was a sculptor, known for his marble and bronze statuary in a late Renaissance or Mannerist style.
Cosimo I de’ Medici became head of the Florentine Republic in 1537 at the the tender age of seventeen and conquered his way to being named the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1569. Cosimo was also famous for the creation of the Uffizi, designed for him by Giorgio Vasari, which gathered all of the city’s administrative offices and public services under one roof, a rather innovative idea at the time. The Uffizi now houses one of the world greatest collections art built on the Medicis’ original collection.
RAPE OF THE SABINE WOMEN
This statue was carved from a single block of marble in 1583 it has been
under the Loggia since that year. Giambologna made this sculpture to prove that he was as good as Michelangelo. It is not obvious in this photo but the mans hand shows an indentation into the skin of the female, giving a more realistic image. This was a new technique for sculpture during this period.
This work by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1563–1565) and some assistants, such as Giambologna, was commissioned on the occasion of the wedding of Francesco I de’ Medici with Johanna of Austria in 1565. The assignment had first been given to Baccio Bandinelli, who designed the model but he died before he could start working on the block of Apuan marble. Michelangelo did not approve of the workmanship in this statue. Interestingly, the fountain was used to wash laundry in the 16th Century, and has had quite a lot of damage done by vandals over the years. It was not one of my favourite sculptures in this open air museum of statues.
I highly recommend a visit to this square if you are ever in Florence.