The 3-panel layout appears at the end of this post:
I am fortunate to have visited the Galleria dell’Accademia in Firenze many times to experience Michelangelo’s David in person. Every time I see it, the first thing I think is: it really is incredibly beautiful.
The second thing I think is always something like, “That’s absurd. That shouldn’t work.” The sculpture is a six-ton piece of stone, and its elegant but narrow leg/tree form supports a tremendous amount of that weight.
Recently it occurred to me that the only thing more absurd might be a statue of a giraffe, whose structure would also require thin legs to support a massive stone form. Research revealed that the average height for male giraffes is 17 ft., which is also David’s height. That’s too big a coincidence not to turn into a comic. 😏
I’m certain I was also influenced by a favorite movie magic trick, the disappearing giraffe in Paolo Sorrentino’s La grande bellezza.
The third thing I usually think when I’m at the Galleria dell’Accademia is: I wonder if any big thing made out of stone would work as well. David is iconic, but his image becomes shorthand for many ideas and messages, including “I was in Firenze.” Or to put it another way: do we really know how to see him?