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Michelangelo Buonarroti

Michelangelo Buonarroti is one of the greatest artists of all time and his name has become synonymous with the word "masterpiece". As an artist he was unmatched, the creator of works of sublime beauty that express the full breadth of the human condition. Yet in world where art flourished only with patronage, Michelangelo was caught between the conflicting powers and whims of the Medici family in Florence, and the Papacy in Rome but unlike many artists of his time, his genius was recogonised.

The high point if Michelangelo's early style is the gigantic marble David, which he produced between 1501 and 1504. The character if David and what he symbolizes was perfectly in tune with his Michelangelo's patriotic feelings. At the time, Florence was going through a difficult period, and its citizens had to be alert and mobilized t confront permanent threats.

He used David as a model of heroic courage, in the hope that the Florentines would understand his message. This young Biblical hero demonstrated that inner spiritual strength can prove to be more effective than arms. His faith in God enabled this young shepherd to overcome Israel's enemies, using a mere sling, which is the only element of composition enabling us to identify the figure of David.

Michelangelo chose to represent David as an athletic, manly character, very concentrated and ready to fight. The extreme tension is evident in his worried look and in his right hand, holding a stone. The meaning of David becomes fully clear if we take into consideration the historical circumstances of its creation. Michelangelo was devoted to the Republic, and wanted each citizen to become aware of his responsibilities and commit himself to accomplishing his duty.

With this statue Michelangelo proved to his contemporaries that he not only surpassed all modern artists, but also the Greeks and Romans, by infusing formal beauty with powerful expressiveness and meaning.