Michelangelo’s David is the world’s most famous statue, a universal symbol of Florence and of Italy. Hailed as the epitome of Renaissance art, the David has inspired contemporary artists from Warhol to Banksy and has been reproduced in life-size copies all over the globe. Why does a 500-year-old statue of a religious figure continue to resonate so deeply today?
The answer lies in the captivating story of Michelangelo’s David. It is a tale rich in conflict, tension, controversy and cultural meaning. Author Victor Coonin tells this story not as ancient history but as a centuries-long biography right up to the present day. What started simply as a monumental block of Carrara marble took on new vigour in Michelangelo’s gifted hands. The statue is both life-like and larger than life: an embodiment of human accomplishment, of perfection, magnificence and beauty. The David has a life of his own, and this life succeeds in telling us something about ourselves.