by Rowynn Dumont, Cohort ’13
Florence historically was one of the wealthiest and most powerful cities in Europe. The patronage of the Medici created an ideological society promoting great civic pride in the city. One of the most important pieces of sculpture ever commissioned was Michelangelo’s David. David was and still is an homage to the ethnocentric European male, the dominating factor of the wealthy and the politically empowered myth of the ruling classes. Originally commissioned for the Piazza della Signoria, which stands in the center of Florence’s public square, the David now resides at the Accademia Gallery. The aesthetic beauty of the taunt muscular body and the youthful appearance of David sends a message that Florentians are ever lasting, ever endowed and immortal. David stands at a looming 17 feet tall, dwarfing any individual that stands near his side. His stone gaze is direct but aloof as he looks down upon his public, retaining his god-like demur. His existence remains a reminder, of the civic pride that was instilled in Firenze, and its people, then and now.