Michelangelo's David: "The Giant" with Kate Bolton-Porciatti - Context Travel

Michelangelo's David: "The Giant" with Kate Bolton-Porciatti


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Michelangelo's David towers over a long line of artworks that represent this complex and multi-faceted Biblical figure: an adolescent boy turned Herculean hero, a shepherd-king, poet-musician, lover and killer, bereaved friend and bereft father. David's passions and sorrows, flaws, and scars, make him the most human of creatures, and his many faces mirror all humanity - including Michelangelo himself.

Kate Bolton-Porciatti leads a virtual visit to the Accademia Gallery in Florence, to see David alongside Michelangelo's poignant "Slaves" - raw and elemental works that reveal the sculptor's tool marks and illuminate his process and technique. We will see how the young Florentine genius conquered the monolithic block of marble nicknamed "The Giant" - a challenge which two previous sculptors had attempted and relinquished - and why his David subsequently became a universal symbol of liberty and civilization.

We will also reflect on images of David dating back a thousand years before Michelangelo, to set his work in its historical, social, and artistic context.

Kate Bolton-Porciatti is a professor of Italian cultural history and music at the Istituto Lorenzo de Medici and at the British Institute in Florence. She has published extensively as an academic, a critic, and a journalist, and is a regular contributor to BBC Music and The Daily Telegraph. From 1989, for 17 years, she was a producer and broadcaster for BBC Arts & Classical Music in London. She did her MPhil thesis in Italy, exploring the musical and cultural landscape of 15th-century Florence.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.