Gee, stupid me. I thought it was a pretty good statue, myself.
June 9, 2000 5:51 AM   Subscribe

Gee, stupid me. I thought it was a pretty good statue, myself. Seems someone with a laser beam and time on his hands has worked out that the statue of David squints. Wow. Thanks a lot, mister! I can rest a lot easier knowing that. Why, I might have been misled into believing it was some kind of masterpiece or something. What, he couldn't find anything more useless to do with his sabbatical?
posted by Ezrael (11 comments total)
Shesh Ezrael, lay off the PCP. It’s a legitimate study (as legitimate as any study of Renaissance art anyway).

If offers insight into Michelangelo’s technique, and offers another example of the fact that even then, Art was created for an audience (He optimized each eye for its appearance as seen from the side)

Intellectual backlash in so 1999 . . .
posted by alan at 7:16 AM on June 9, 2000

I was going to pick on your typo, but I'd hate to be seen as being 1997.

I really disliked the headline of this article. Who ever claimed that David was perfect? If it's been said, I'd love to hear their reasoning. It's doubtful it's a perfect replica of the ol' Giant Slayer, and who cares? To carelessly tread where much is still ado on the subject of art no one that I'm aware of has claimed that art is required to be an exact replica.

At the same time though, examing examples of widely-agreed 'masterpieces' can lead towards an examination of what make art that trancends culture and time. There's comparitively few people out there who would argue David isn't an excellent example of classical art, and who wouldn't be impressed at the talent that went into making it.

Examing the various styles, tricks and tools used to evoke that massive appreciation can only lead to a better understanding of how humans think.
posted by cCranium at 7:39 AM on June 9, 2000

Well, since we're dealing with Internet time here, 1997 is retro by this point, and since we all know retro is cool, you should have gone for it.

Of course, being the perpetrator of a typo is so 1995, which makes me that much lamer, (or in that more lame?)

posted by alan at 7:56 AM on June 9, 2000

Ya know, I've done my own independant study of "David" and have come to a conclussion even these scientists and their fancy lasers seem to have missed. The David is far from perfect, While proportions and such are accurate (except for that damned squinting) we've all missed one important point-Real people are made of flesh and bone and hair and stuff. This sucker is made of stone. Shame on you, Michaelangelo, for half-assing your statue. Myopic AND made of stone. Sheesh.
posted by Doug at 8:02 AM on June 9, 2000

Actually, David's hands are larger than normal proportion (this is by design, or so I was told during a tour of Galleria dell'Accademia).
posted by plinth at 8:23 AM on June 9, 2000

Heh. I forgot to mention the most obviously not "Perfect Replica of David" aspect of the statue - it's 17 feet tall. :-)
posted by cCranium at 8:45 AM on June 9, 2000

The entire statue is out of proportion because Michelangelo knew people would view it from below. The hands are large and the head is enormous-- I seem to remember a tour guide informing me that the size of the head is the same as the space between David's knees.
When you consider all the factors the sculptor was working against-- the angle of view and perspective tricks, plus making sure the huge figure would be balanced correctly... really makes web development and cross-platform compatibility &c seem like a piece of cake!
But it's hard for us to see the skewed proportions, even in pictures taken from the front or side, because we're so accustomed to the famous image of the statue.
posted by wiremommy at 10:38 AM on June 9, 2000

All any of this means to me is that Michelango was cleverer (more clever?) than I had believed him to be, and I had believed him to be pretty damn clever.

I didn't like the article; it seemed gleeful that there was this perceived flaw in a statue that's flawed intentionally, to make it more powerful, more meaningful to those viewing it.
posted by cCranium at 11:07 AM on June 9, 2000

My main gripe with the story is that it assumes that "David" was designed to be "perfect". In fact, the story of the sculpture is incredible: Michelangelo took on a piece of marble that had already been worked on, and turned it into... well, quite something. So your story isn't "perfection in stone", but rather "triumph over technical adversity".

But yeah: "David"'s made out of stone, too, which fucks over the accuracy pedants.
posted by holgate at 11:22 AM on June 9, 2000

I would think that someone so powerful would be more well-endowed. :-)
posted by premiumpolar at 5:18 PM on June 9, 2000

Well, he's not circuimcised...David not circuimcised?..and that can lead to retractability of the penis. In my case, I go from two to six inches when aroused. (There is some debate claiming he is circuimcised, according to the style of the time, I should also point out.)
posted by Ezrael at 6:37 PM on June 9, 2000

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