Last Days to marvel at Donatello’s restored David

Since November 29th 2008, the Bargello National Museum in Florence offers to the public the chance to marvel at the legendary Donatello’s restored bronze David.

The restoration was carried out in a worksite open to the public in the Donatello Room, where the masterpiece is on display since 1887, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Florenceflood (4th November 1966).

The David (or Mercury) is a bronze sculpture created by Donatello around 1440, it is 158 cm high, has a maximum diameter 51 cm long and is probably the most famous and admired work of the artist, emblematic symbol of the Italian fifteenth century, with many not still revealed meanings.

The hero is represented standing with a strange pointed cap decorated with a garland. His hairs are long and let down, his face slightly turned down.

Since the Roman Age, it is the first statue representing a nude figure, intended as an independent work without any architectonical elements.

We don’t have any document informing us about its creation, in fact we find for the first time some information about it only in 1469, in the center of the courtyard of Medici Palace.

Almost certainly commissioned by Cosimo il Vecchio and possibly initially housed in the “old house” of the Medici, from around 1459 up to 1495 it occupied this place of honor in the new Medici palazzo, which was completed by Michelozzo in 1455.

The David didn’t undergo any restoration for more than a century, but just an ordinary maintenance.

Seeing the great importance and fragility of the work, and the presence of the original plating, a deeper cleaning was not recommended.

Nowadays, thanks to the new avant-garde methods in bronze restoration, it is possible, through the use of a laser, to face an intervention on Donatello’s masterpiece with great results.

So folks…you have still only a few days to marvel at such a great masterpiece!

The artwork will remain on display until 23rd November 2009 at the Bargello National Museum in Florence.

For further information about art, museums or monuments in Florence, please visit our useful website

Full Price: € 4,00
Reduced: € 2,00

Monday – Sunday, 8.15 – 13.50
Closed 2nd, 4th Monday of each month, 1st, 3rd, 5th Sunday of each month

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