The Proportions of David

Michelangelo carved David from a single 18 ft block of allegedly cracked and discarded marble, when he was only 27. When it was finished 28 months later it was thought to be the most beautiful sculpture, ancient or modern, Greek or Roman.

Upper Body:
If you think that David's upper-body and head seem too big, then you're right. Michelangelo made them bigger on purpose, to account from viewing his statue from afar and from below (It stood in front of Palazzo Vecchio, where now the copy stands. Initially it was suggested to go on top of the cathedral walk-around).

Davids right hand is bigger than the left with an enlarged abductor digiti minimi—suggested as a device to draw attention to the stone as a symbol of his courage and physical power.

The most significant anomaly is in the David’s eyes, which seem to manifest an exodeviation. The right eye is in the primary position while the left eye appears to be looking out to the left. Listen to the story (NPR 6/13/2000)

Photo by Dave Piurek

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