Donatello's David and Giambologna's Mercury

BARGELLO NATIONAL MUSEUM .. It doesn't look like much on the outside, but inside the Bargello are treasures not to be missed. The first treasure was the interior courtyard. It was simply stunning (and again you couldn't take photographs so I rely on internet pictures to share the art). But this building from 1255 had a history of its own. It was originally a city hall. In the 16th century it was a prison, probably the most beautiful place of execution in history. However, in 1865 it became a national museum.

The Bargello National Museum housed so many world famous pieces. I didn't recognize the name, but Giambologna (1529 -1608) made the statue of Mercury poised for flight that anyone who has seen an FTD commercial would instantly recognize. It was a treat to see up close.

But, as beautiful as it was, that wasn't the statue that most people came to see. Donatello (1386 -1466) did what nobody else had done for a thousand years when he sculpted his version of David. The young hero was nude. That just wasn't done before the Renaissance, because nudity was considered shameful. Donatello embraced realism with his lifelike statures and he set the artistic standard for many Renaissance artist who followed. This David looked nothing like the Herculean figure that Michelangelo later created, but you wouldn't have one without the other.

Parking by the Museum
Copyright 2010 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.