Friday, October 15, 2004

Lift With Your Legs, Not Your Back

Michelangelo's David, the towering sculpture acclaimed for its depiction of male physical perfection, has a "hole" in the back, two anatomy professors announced at a recent conference in Florence.

Computer measurements of David's body taken by professors Massimo Gulisano and colleague Pietro Bernabei of Florence University show a hollow instead of a muscle on the right side of the back, between the spine and the shoulder blade. . .

But it wasn't really a mistake. Michelangelo was aware of the flaw.

"In one of his letters, he wrote that a defect in the marble block made it impossible to reproduce the muscle," the researchers said.

Indeed, David was carved from a single block of marble discarded for an imperfection by two other sculptors, Agostino di Duccio and Antonio Rossellino.

Representing the biblical hero who killed Goliath, the sculpture marked a watershed in Renaissance art and established Michelangelo as the foremost sculptor of his time at the age of 29.


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