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Fit Symbol

June 10th, 2004

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why was the Biblical David a fitting symbol of the Florentine Republic?

Michelangelo's statue of David is 5.17 Meters tall , and was referred to as "Il Gigante" (the Giant) , it appears that Michelangelo was fascinated by giant figures from 1501-1504, at the time he made the statue . However biblical David was no giant, although he must have been a very strong person (hence justifying his depiction as most muscular) to have slay the bear and the lion with his own hands be holding them down (as he testified about himself to Saul) (1 Samuel 17:34-36). This might be explained according to the identification of the statue as symbolizing Republican Florence. For, at Michelangelo's time , he percieved the republic as ill fortified (like nude David, having no protective clothes surrounding it) and like David needs to relay on the hand of God to direct its seemingly inferior weapons.

By making David a giant Michelangelo is as if saying to the Republic's enemies that not only that it has God's help, but that it is in an even better position to protect itself than biblical David as it had become a giant like its enemies (it is in a sense "double protected"). Michelangelo took an active role in making Republican Florence more protected later, and was appointed as an architect in charge of its fortifications

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