The David and Other Works
We saw The David by Michelangelo first thing in the morning. Since we were part of the tour group and had an appointment, we were able to skip the front of the long line of tourists. The David was truly an anatomical masterpiece, detailing every muscle and vein. We learned from our guide that it was originally made to sit atop a tall building but, after its creation, it was deemed too great a work of art to be hidden so far from sight. The body parts that are out of proportion, like the hands, were done that way on purpose so that they could be seen better from a distance. We felt that The David embodied such realism that it looked like it could literally come to life and walk. We were also fascinated with some other works by Michelangelo that included sculptures of the torsos of men breaking out of stone, the raw uncut stone surfaces juxtaposed with the carefully crafted details of the human body.
Uffizi Art Gallery
We then visited the massive Uffizi art gallery. We saw the works of DaVinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli. Some of our favorites were Botticelli’s masterpieces Spring and Birth of Venus. Our guide pointed out the sensation of movement that characterizes the Botticelli paintings, like the wind blowing through the trees. This was a real highlight of the trip to see in person many of the world’s great artistic masterpieces.
Galileo Science Museum
Next we visited the Galileo science museum, which we found interesting both on a historical and a scientific level. We saw many of the great discoveries that have been made from the start of the Renaissance through modern day. Shannon found especially interesting the greatly detailed wax models of the childbirth process while Devin was fascinated by the inventions of tools such as accurate thermometers, clocks, and astronomical equipment that made possible many subsequent scientific inventions.