Have you ever wondered what skill it took for the greatest artists to create their masterpieces? Well, Michelangelo had a great saying about it: “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and in action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” That is how geniuses weave words, our dear readers, and for this particular purpose, we are going to explore some of their most exquisite creations. Oh, and did we mention that our contestants will all pertain to Italy in some way? Right! Let’s get going then!
1. David (Michelangelo):
As we have already spoiled it, there could not have been a list of Italian sculptures without this majestic masterpiece. Created between 1501 and 1504, it is made of marble and stands at a height of 5.17 metres. Depicting the Biblical hero David, it is one of the most pristine examples of Golden Mean Statuarism. Originally intended for the Florence Cathedral, it ended up just outside the Palazzo della Signoria instead. Later, it 1873, it got moved to the Galleria dell’Accademia of Florence where it can be viewed today. Oh, and did we mention that David’s powerful glare used to be directed towards Rome? This meant that the Medici Family resisted the dominion of Rome and maintained full control over the former city-state status of Florence. If you want to know more about this, we recommend that you watch one of the greatest TV shows ever made: Da Vinci’s Demons (wink).
2. Apollo Belvedere:
Also known simply as the Apollo, this fine contestant reaches a height of 2.24 metres and was created between the years 120 and 140. However, this incarnation of the masterpiece is but a reincarnation for it was modelled after a previous one that had been created around 350-325 BC by the Greek (Athenian) sculptor Leochares. Note that the current one is made of white marble whilst the older one was a bronze creation. Rediscovered in Italy in the 15th century (during the zenith of the Renaissance), it is located within the bounds of the Gabinetto delle Maschere of the Pio-Clementine Museum (a section of the Vatican Museum complex).
3. Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius:
Next up, we have Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s famous magnum opus called Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius. Created between 1618 and 1619, it is 2.2 metres tall and is made entirely of marble. The sculpture depicts one of the most important scenes of the Aeneid, where the protagonist (Aeneas, the famous Trojan man who ends up in Italy to become the progenitor of Rome) marches with his family away from his fallen home city. What’s interesting about it is that it was originally attributed to Bernini’s father, Pietro – later, however, its true origins have been revealed by hard evidence. The sculpture can be found at the Galleria Borghese of Rome.
4. Ecstasy of Saint Teresa:
Gian Loremzo Bernini returns with his majestic Ecstasy of Saint Teresa located at the Santa Maria della Vittoria of Rome. Made to adhere to life-size standards, the statue is made entirely of marble. Created between 1647 and 1652, it is considered one of the most exquisite masterpieces of the High Roman Baroque. Depicting Saint Teresa of Ávila (also known as Saint Teresa of Jesus), the sculpture is also known popularly as the Transverberation of Saint Teresa. Oh, and let us not forget about the fact that it boasted with a price of 12,000 Italian scudi (that was beyond expensive at the time – something that only royal figures could afford).
Did you enjoy our list?
How many of the aforementioned statues have you visited and how many of them are on your bucket list? Tell us all about it in the comment section below and do not forget to check back from time to time for some interesting updates (wink)!