“Nor has there ever been seen a pose so fluent, or a gracefulness equal to this, or feet, hands and head so well related to each other with quality, skill and design”. With these words Giorgio Vasari attempts to define the reasons behind the marvel that the vision of David provokes in the observer. He continues by stating that the status so far surpasses both in beauty and technique ancient and modern statuary that one needn’t bother seeing other works in sculpture.
At the end of 1501, Michelangelo obtained the permission of the Opera del Duomo to work a block of marble which had been abandoned in the courtyard of the Cathedral of Florence for the creation of the figure of the young hero, subsequently placed in front of Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza Signoria.
It has always been a subject of debate among scholars whether David is represented before or after his victory over Goliath. His sling is also barely visible as though to emphasize how David owed his victory not to brutal force, but to his intellect and to his innocence. As soon as it was placed in front of Palazzo Vecchio, the statue became a symbol of liberty and of civic pride for the Florentine Republican. Surrounded by hostile enemies, the city identified itself with the young hero who, with the help of God, had defeated a much more powerful foe.
From the plaque next to the David