THE WORK

Birth, transport and placement

The work was assigned to Michelangelo by the workers of the Florence cathedral on 16 August 1501, for a remuneration of 400 ducats. On 25 January 1504 a commission composed of the prominent artists of the time (among others, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Filippino Lippi, the Perugino) decided that the sculpture should have to be placed at the entrance of Palazzo Vecchio, as a symbol of the strength and independence of the Florentines. On 8 September 1504, the statue was unveiled to the city, to the admiration of all people. Originally some parts of the David were gilded: a garland on his head, the trunk (or "broncone") behind the right leg and the sling. The sculpture, with its carved base, is 517 cm high and weighs 5560 kilos. In 2003-2004 the marble was subjected to a careful cleaning and it is regularly dusted to enable the accurate monitoring.