Few sculptures are as famous as Michelangelo’s David, and if you’ve ever seen it you’ll understand why. The masterpiece of the Renaissance period was completed in 1504 when Michelangelo was just 29 years old, and today over 8 million people per year visit the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence so they can marvel at the famous artwork.

The statue of David is 17ft tall (over 5 meters), weighs 12,478 lbs (5,660kg) and is carved from a single huge block of unwanted Carrara marble. He took over two years to carve, and it depicts the Biblical David who took down Goliath with a well-aimed slingshotted rock to the forehead. It was the first depiction of David omitting the giant entirely – the hero is depicted here just before the famous fight. His furrowed brow, the tension in his neck and is position as if to give him motion gives a clue of what’s about to happen. Michelangelo’s statue also shows some unusual proportions – enlarged head and arms. This was probably done because the David statue was supposed to adorn buttresses of the Florence Cathedral, so the most visible body parts had to be clearly visible. It looks magnificent enough from a distance, but if you really want to appreciate David sculpture, then you need to take a closer look at his incredible attention to detail.

Thanks to the photos below, you can clearly see the amount of work that Michelangelo has put into this classical art piece; it is especially nice if you don’t plan a trip to Florence anytime soon to see it for yourself.

Michelangelo started to carve the statue of David from a single block of unwanted marble in 1501

Image credits: academia.org

Two other sculptors had tried to carve the block before abandoning their respective projects, and the marble laid unused for 10 years

Image credits: EFE

It took him 2 years, and the result is 17ft tall (over 5 metres) and weighs a whopping 12,478 lbs (5,660kg)!

Image credits: Korido

It depicts the Biblical David, who took down Goliath with a well aimed rock to the forehead

Image credits: Miguel Hermoso Cuesta

Over 8 million people per year visit the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence so they can marvel at the iconic marble statue

Image credits: Jörg Bittner Unna

It looks magnificent from a distance, but you need to take a closer look to appreciate Michelangelo’s incredible attention to detail

Image credits: Rabe!

“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all,” Michelangelo once said

Image credits: EFE

Michelangelo died in 1564, aged 88, but his statue of David will live on forever

Image credits: Alberto Pizzoli

Here’s an idea of what David might look like in real life

Image credits: J.Krogh