Calder Classics

A Date with David

Calder ClassicsComment

Today was an extraordinary day as we continued our reading of Lucretius and visited yet another iconic site in Florence. The morning's reading of Lucretius' great didactic poem, On the Nature of Things, struck us with the sheer beauty of its poetry along with its scientific and philosophical outlook. We read a portion that introduced the sacrifice of Iphigenia, carried out by the Greeks, in order to obtain the winds to sail to Troy and begin the Trojan War. Reluctantly putting this masterpiece aside, we stepped out into Florence’s sunshine.  

Later that afternoon we visited the Galleria dell’Academia where Michelangelo’s David transfixed us. Michelangelo's work symbolizes all that the city of Florence hoped to represent- strength and courage, displayed though the immense size of the statue. Not only is David huge, but he also possesses fine features such as the strikingly realistic veins running throughout his hands, showing Michelangelo’s commitment to detail even in a statue so big. Lucretius and Michelangelo struck me as similar in their commitment and mastery of their art. At the end of the day we concluded that the main difference between the two were the instruments they employed-one a pen, the other a chisel. 

By Carly Lawrence

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