Leonardo and the David at the Opera del Duomo Museum

Minutes from the meeting that decided the David’s fate on display

Editorial Staff
September 16, 2019 - 15:43

For the first time in 80 years, the minutes of an extraordinary meeting is on display to the public. On January 25, 1504, a group of illustrious men came together to decide the fate of Michelangelo’s famous David, discussing where the “giant,” as it was called, should be installed. The group included Botticelli, Perugino, Filippino Lippi, Andrea della Robbia, Antonio and Giuliano da Sangallo, Piero di Cosimo, Il Cronaca, Lorenzo di Credi and Francesco Granacci, among others, whose opinions were recorded and are now on show for all to see.

 

“…che stia nella loggia” Leonardo, il David e l’Opera del Duomo is running until November 3, 2019 in the Sala della Pietà di Michelangelo, the very space where the Renaissance artist sculpted his masterpiece five centuries ago. In honour of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, the exhibition features the page bearing the genius’s opinion. Copies of the other pages – the originals are not able to be put on display, are accompanied by transcriptions so visitors can read the possible suggestions put forth for the David’s location. The exhibition also has a video showing these various locations and a reconstruction of its transfer from the Opera’s rooms in piazza Duomo to Palazzo Vecchio.

 

 

Leonardo's opinion in the minutes of the meeting held to decide where Michelangelo's David should be located.

 

The exhibition centres around Leonardo’s reaction to Giuliano da Sangallo’s recommendation to place the David in the Loggia dei Lanzi, which the men agreed was a wise decision: “I confirm, said Leonardo, “that it go in the Loggia like Giuliano said, placed above the bench on the back wall, protected and in a way that it does not disrupt official ceremonies.” Though the masterpiece was ultimately placed in front of Palazzo Vecchio, where it remained until 1873, this suggestion floated by da Sangallo made it clear that one way or another, the David would end up in piazza della Signoria.

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