01 September 2009


30 August 2009

What happened in Florence? Between 1450 and 1550, the world changed, and our way of seeing and representing the world would never be the same. In the Third Man, Graham Greene wrote, "You know what the fellow said - in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace - and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." Standing in front of Michaelangelo’s David is a lesson in humility, and not because he is so large… It’s the perfection that staggers, and the artistic license taken by the artist. Interestingly, though created by an Italian, the face is clearly Greek (reminds one of operas written in Italian by Germans). His head is too large, but it feels right; our man knew that it would be viewed with awe from below. The shoulders and torso I would kill for, the arms too. But the hands struck me the most - far too large for the rest of the body, but captivatingly perfect: these are the hands that slew the monster Goliath. His posture is relaxed with immeasurable grace and strength, but of course, he had just killed the beast that had terrorized the army, and he was just a boy. Of course the real grace and genius was that of the artist, the man who knew he was a god, the best in the world, able to create something so beautiful and perfect that 500 years later, we marvel, knowing that nothing will ever equal it. What drove this revolution in a town in the middle of Italy? How did Michaelangelo come to be?

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