Today on September 8, 1504, Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the David, was unveiled in the Piazza della Signoria.
The David is perhaps Michelangelo's most famous and impressive sculpture. It took over three years to complete and was commissioned in 1501 as a series of statues to be positioned along the roofline of the Florence Cathedral. The marble statue stands 17 feet tall and represents the Biblical hero, David, from the Old Testament.
After its completion, city officials decided to place the grand statue in a public square instead. David represents the Republic of Florence’s defense of civil liberties during the Italian Renaissance. At the time, Florence was surrounded by the stronger city states of Venice, Rome and Naples. The statue’s eyes symbolize a glare of strength and were positioned to face the direction of Rome.