The David was carved by Tuscan artist Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), one of the top artists in history famous not only for his lifelike sculptures, but also for painting (including the Sistine Chapel), architecture (with the St Peter’s Basilica dome) and more.
The David statue was to be part of a series of 12 Old Testament statues that were to be commissioned by the Overseers of Florence’s Cathedral around a century prior.
Donatello made his Joshua statue in 1410. Agostino di Duccio created Hercules in 1463 and commenced carving the David a year on, in marble brought especially to Florence from the famed marble area Carrara. Alas, not long after his work on the statue ceased. Around ten years later, Rossellino took over the completion of the David, but his project was also left by the wayside.
In 1501, when Michelangelo was a mere 26 years old, he was tasked with completing the David. Two years later, his masterpiece was complete.
Weighing 6 tons, the idea of placing Michelangelo’s David on top of Florence’s Cathedral was swiftly abandoned. Instead, it was posted in front of Florence’s Town Hall – Il Palazzo Vecchio – in the Piazza della Signoria.
In 1873, the local government decided that it was not such a bright idea to leave such a treasure to the elements, moving it to a specially-designed room within the Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze that had been created less than a century prior. It remains in this stunning space to this day.
In 1910, a replica of Michelangelo’s David was placed in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, in the statue’s original position.
Visit all the must-sees of Florence's historical city centre and the two top museums - the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Museum - in around 6 hours led by Florence's best tour guides.
A great walking tour covering the historical centre of Florence, focusing on the area north of the river to the west of the Santa Croce area.
Find out how Florence came to be one of the most important art centres of all time. See fabulous masterpieces. Hear about astounding events that shocked the Florentines.
A 2-hour guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery plus around 1 hour visiting one of Florence's treasures - the Bargello.
Whilst you don't want to skip seeing this masterpiece, you may want to skip the longest lines to enter. Book ahead for the fastest entry possible.