Michaelangelo’s David at Accademia Gallery Florence

posted in: Art, Blog, Florence, Italy, Museum | 12

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

It’s a masterpiece you need to see when you travel to Florence.

Michaelangelo’s David is arguably the most famous statue in the world. Even if you’re not the greatest fan of history or art, it’s such an iconic sculpture that you’ll want to see with your own eyes. However, if you are interested in history or art, you’re in the right place. Wandering down the street in Florence is like walking through a museum, never mind being inside an actual museum itself.

If you want to lay eyes on David himself, you’re going to want to pay a trip to the Accademia Gallery. That’s where Michaelangelo’s David resides.

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

VISITING DAVID

After walking around a corner in the Accademia Gallery, we saw Michaelangelo’s David for the first time. He stood, all alone, with a sea of people beneath him. The statue of David is larger than life…literally. He is 5.16 meters tall (nearly 17 feet), almost three times the size of the average man.

Contrary to what I read online prior to visiting, we were allowed to take photographs of David. When I posted my pictures on social media, numerous people were surprised that I was able to take photos. The rules for photographs have likely changed over time. No one tried to stop us from taking pictures, and almost everyone had their cameras out. The only sign I saw regarding photographs was one stating, “No selfie sticks!”.

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

FACTS ABOUT DAVID

Michaelangelo’s David statue represents the biblical hero from the story, David and Goliath. David carries a rock in his right hand and a sling over his left shoulder. Historians believe that David displays an expression of anxiety on his face as he is about to face the giant, Goliath in that fabled epic battle.

He was carved between 1501 and 1504 from one single block of marble. Isn’t that incredible? That block of marble was actually used and discarded twice because it was too difficult to work with. He was originally intended to be placed on the roof of Florence’s cathedral, the Duomo. However, he was so beautiful that he needed to be appreciated up close. This explains why he was sculpted to be nearly 17 feet tall – he was going to appear much smaller from the rooftop.

Michaelangelo’s David once stood in front of Palazzo Vecchio from 1504 until 1873. To protect the statue, it was moved to the Accademia Gallery. In 1910, a replica statue of David was placed in Piazza della Signoria where the old one used to be. We saw the replica statue in front of Palazzo Vecchio.

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

I should have taken another picture showing the massive crowds in the piazza when we were in Florence. Tom Hanks was inside Palazzo Vecchio, along with other cast and crew members, shooting the film, Inferno. We didn’t enjoy any celebrity sightings, but people were crowded around waiting for hours to catch a glimpse at Tom Hanks!

There are several statues in Piazza della Signoria, including The Rape of the Sabine Women. A plaster copy of that statue is also on display at the Accademia Gallery.

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

DAVID: UP CLOSE

The details of Michaelangelo’s David are astounding when you view the statue up close. You can see sculpted muscles, every bulging vein, and even the texture of his skin. It was so incredible that Michaelangelo carved this masterpiece from one block of marble. Only so much can be captured with photographs. You really have to see David in person to fully appreciate him.

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

OTHER ART AT ACCADEMIA GALLERY

While Michaelangelo’s David is the main attraction, there are lots of other works of art and sculptures at Accademia Gallery. While there were lots of paintings depicting religious imagery, one of the most interesting places we discovered was the Hall of Models. You’ll find this near the statue of David. Unfortunately, this room was closed to visitors when we visited, but we were able to admire the sculptures through a large doorway. We marveled at many plaster casts and marble statues by sculptor, Lorenzo Bartolini. I’m not sure why this area had a barrier in front of it when we visited. You might be able to walk right through it now.

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery Florence

BEFORE YOU GO

  • Purchase your tickets ahead of time to secure an entrance time without having to wait in a long line. Purchase the tickets directly from the official website. Third party websites will charge you additional fees. Select a date and a time, and you can buy the tickets online. You’ll get a booking number. Collect your tickets at the ticket office, opposite the museum (51, via Ricasoli).
  • The Accademia Gallery is closed on Mondays. It’s also closed January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th.
  • The opening hours are: Tuesday and Friday from 08:15-22:00 and Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 08:15-18:50.
  • Reduced ticket prices are available for those aged 18-25. Children under 18 years of age can enter free of charge.

Want to see more Florence photos? Check out our entire Florence travel photography album!

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Galleria dell\'Accademia 43.776761, 11.259109 Michaelangelo\'s David at Accademia Gallery FlorenceVia Ricasoli 58 Toscana, Italy (Directions)

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Michaelangelo's David at Accademia Gallery - Florence, Italy

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Have you seen Michaelangelo’s David in person?

12 Responses

  1. Megan Jerrard
    | Reply

    You got incredible photos of David! I went a very long time ago, and at this time photos weren’t permitted. So I got one (of course!) but it was at a funny angle pretending not to take it lol!! Great to know that the rules have changed, and they just ban selfie sticks now.

    How amazing to have been in Florence during the filming of Inferno! I can only imagine the crowds! We loved Florence, and although Ive never been a big fan of museums or art history, it was this trip which changed that for me.

  2. Raksha Nagaraj
    | Reply

    Wow such incredible and interesting pictures. You have got some beautiful shots there. And I would love to visit this art gallery. Thanks for sharing this article. I always visit art galleries and museums so would look forward to visit this one.

  3. Danik
    | Reply

    This post brought back a lot of memories when I visited Florence many many moons ago and David still looks as good as ever. Great post and great photos, wish I could have taken photos when I was there.
    Danik recently posted…Exploring the small Norwegian city of VardøMy Profile

  4. tracy collins
    | Reply

    We visited this last summer and I was just mesmerised by that statue – it really is something you need to see to totally appreciate. it certainly made me want to find out more about the genius Michelangelo – I would recommend reading The Agony and the Ecstasy all about his life. I could have spent a few days in the Uffizi and the Accademia – just amazing places!
    tracy collins recently posted…A Virtual Cuppa – March 2017My Profile

  5. Jennifer
    | Reply

    The rules for photos have definitely changed. I’ve visited David in the Accademia several times over the last decade, though most recently was in 2014. There used to be signs everywhere stating no photography and if you tried to sneak a photo, the guards would descend on you in seconds. For the longest time, they seemed to believe that flash photography would further damage the statue so I’m curious what’s changed. Especially as they have been very concerned about new cracks that have developed in the last few years from all the earthquakes central Italy has been experiencing.
    Jennifer recently posted…The Perfect 3-Day Weekend in BristolMy Profile

  6. Jenna
    | Reply

    This makes me wish we would have went into the Accademia Gallery for a look around! Would love to see David and all the other statues, but we were short on time so we just checked out the statues outside. Will defintiely have to add it to our list for next time! That’s crazy you were there when Tom Hanks was filming a movie–I can just imagine how crazy the crowds would be!
    Jenna recently posted…Exploring Stockholm’s Södermalm Neighborhood with Context TravelMy Profile

  7. Dave
    | Reply

    That was one of my favourite experiences in Florence. You cannot believe how big David’s statue is until you see it with your own eyes. The tip about getting tickets before is really helpful. Th lines were huge.
    Dave recently posted…Athens Walking Tours – Sightseeing Tours in AthensMy Profile

  8. Vicki Louise
    | Reply

    Going into the museum was worth it for David – but I must admit, I really enjoyed the artwork/sculptures in the courtyard outside the entrance. And it was a great place to people watch too!

  9. Reshma Narasing
    | Reply

    I loved this art gallery! You have taken some really wonderful pictures. I’m amazed at Michaelangelo’s skills – David looks so perfect. Thanks for this virtual journey. I would definitely visit this one when I go there.
    Reshma Narasing recently posted…Camping in Thar Desert – A Night Under The Stars in JaisalmerMy Profile

  10. Guy Crotty
    | Reply

    Loved Florence and loved David. From a distance I was underwhelmed but as you get closer the enormity and perfection of the work really dawns on you. Always spins me out that it’s done from the one MASSIVE chunk of marble.

  11. Nisha
    | Reply

    These are lovely photos. Due to some ticketing goof ups, we missed going to Florence or Firenze as it is locally called. Florence has perhaps the biggest collection of sculptors of the renaissance period. Talking of coincidences , I very recently finished reading Agony and Ecstasy by Irving Stone.

  12. Hi guys – Great pictures from Florence and the Accademia! That really was one of our favorite stops in Italy – both Florence and Michaelangelo’s David. It’s just amazing seeing it in person. Great post!
    Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) recently posted…Top 8 Travel Tips to Get a Quiet Hotel RoomMy Profile

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