An event in Florence to celebrate the 140th anniversary of Michelangelo's David

Starting May 9, the 140th anniversary of the Tribune of the Accademia Gallery in Florence is being celebrated by the museum with 'David 140,' a program of events dedicated to Michelangelo's David (and more) to commemorate the important event.

It was July 22, 1882, when the Tribuna of the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence opened to the public, specially conceived by architect Emilio de Fabris to guard and preserve from the elements Michelangelo’s David, placed, until 9 years earlier, on theArengario of Palazzo Vecchio. It has been 140 years since then, and the Accademia Gallery in Florence has decided to celebrate this anniversary with DAVID 140, a packed program of events. Starting Monday, May 9, musicians, art historians, and intellectuals, both Italian and international, will take turns under the Tribuna’s skylight to celebrate an iconic, world-renowned work with their own personal tribute. Patti Smith, Cristina Acidini, Aldo Cazzullo, Cappella de la Torre, Théotime Langlois de Swarte and Violaine Cochard, Felipe Pereda and theAccademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino are the guests of the first part of DAVID 140, which will continue after the summer, throughout 2022.

“We invited personalities from the world of culture and entertainment to celebrate the David and the 140th anniversary of its move inside our museum, an intervention that was one of the first examples of protection and conservation of a cultural asset,” explains Cecilie Hollberg, director of the Accademia Gallery in Florence. "The biblical character, sculpted by Michelangelo, the hero David, a young king of Judah and Israel who defeats the giant Goliath, is a legendary figure, a symbol of good fighting evil, who has fascinated so many artists over the centuries that he has been the subject of many sculptures from the Renaissance and beyond. Each of our guests will tell and explore aspects of the history of the work and the artist who created it; they will dialogue in the form of a performance with one of the most beloved statues ever."

DAVID 140 will begin on May 9 with a concert by la Cappella de la Torre, one of the world’s leading ensembles for wind instruments, founded in 2005 and directed by Katharina Bäuml, 2016 ECHO Klassik Award Ensemble of the Year. Cappella de la Torre is best known for its research of music from the 15th to 17th centuries, an important time span where ancient medieval sounds are still present and coexist with those of the Renaissance.

This will be followed on May 16 by Théotime Langlois de Swarte, a very young French musician and violin virtuoso. His passion and eclecticism have allowed him to range in repertoire from the 17th century to contemporary. He officially collaborates with the French label Harmonia Mundi, with which he recorded his first CD The Mad Lover together with lutenist Thomas Dunford.

He will play ancient musical instruments accompanied by harpsichordist Violaine Cochard.

Cristina Acidini, an art historian and president of theOpera di Santa Croce, theAccademia delle Arti del Disegno and the Casa Buonarroti and Roberto Longhi Foundations, will get to the heart of the story of the David on May 23 with a talk entitled Beams and Rails. The Transport of the David to the Accademia Gallery in 1873. He will narrate about the complex “translocation” of the sculpture, from Piazza della Signora to its triumphal entrance to the Accademia, on a wooden wagon designed by engineers Porra and Poggi. A move that lasted a full five days, from July 31 to August 4, and which, given the heat, could only be carried out from 4 to 11 a.m.

May 30 will be the turn of another concert with the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, which will introduce the evening with Sonnets XVI and XXXI from the collection Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo op.22 by Benjamin Britten, as a testament to Michelangelo’s poetic art, and then will continue with arias and excerpts from Attila and Ernani, operas by Giuseppe Verdi that were much loved in the second half of the 19th century, the period when David was received at the Accademia.

To the figure of Pietro Torrigiano sculptor and medallist of the Florentine School, known for his rivalry with his contemporary Michelangelo, so much so that he threw a punch at him that broke his nose, is dedicated the June 6 event. Discussing him will be Felipe Pereda, art historian and professor of Spanish Art at Harvard University, who compiled the first biography ever written about this artist, Torrigiano. The Man Who Broke Michelangelo’s Nose, published by Penn State University.

Florence Moral Homeland of Italians is the title of the meeting that will feature, on June 13, Aldo Cazzullo, a well-known Italian journalist and writer, correspondent and columnist for Corriere della Sera who recently published for Mondadori, A riveder le stelle. Dante, the poet who invented Italy, and who has a particular passion for Michelangelo’s David.

This first part of DAVID 140 closes on June 27 with another contemporary icon, Patti Smith, an extraordinary songwriter and performer, one of the most charismatic and disruptive female figures in the history of music from the late 1960s to the present, who continues to renew herself through her writing and captivate even the youngest generations with the visionary intensity of the force she exudes. Patti will perform a special musical reading, a tribute to the genius of Michelangelo Buonarroti.

DAVID 140 is a carefully researched project of the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence by its director, who responds to the directions of the MiC - Ministry of Culture.

For all information, you can visit the official website of the Galleria dell’Accademia.

Ph. credit: Sandro Nardoni

An event in Florence to celebrate the 140th anniversary of Michelangelo's David
An event in Florence to celebrate the 140th anniversary of Michelangelo's David

Warning: the translation into English of the original Italian article was created using automatic tools. We undertake to review all articles, but we do not guarantee the total absence of inaccuracies in the translation due to the program. You can find the original by clicking on the ITA button. If you find any mistake,please contact us.