Michelangelo’s David now basks in a new light

Michelangelo’s David now basks in a new light

The Renaissance masterpiece and the adjoining rooms at the Accademia Gallery all boast state-of-the-art, energy-saving lighting systems.

Tue 13 Sep 2022 4:34 PM

Visitors to Florence’s Accademia Gallery can now see Michelangelo’s David in a new light as the tribune that houses the Renaissance masterpiece boasts a revamped energy-saving lighting system.

Michelangelo David new lighting
Michelangelo’s David now has new high-tech lighting thanks to Enel X. Ph. @marcobadiani
Michelangelo’s David now has new high-tech lighting thanks to Enel X. Ph. @marcobadiani

“There’s no better way to celebrate the 140 years of when the tribune opened to the public on July 22, 1882,” comments Cecilie Hollberg, director of the Accademia Gallery in Florence. “A new source of light in the heart of the museum enhances the surfaces of Michelangelo’s masterpiece. With the tribune’s new technical lighting system, we are closing an important chapter for our museum, an approach that has changed the visual perception of the works in the Hall of the Prisoners, the Transept and the Rooms of Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Florentine Paintings, making the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze even more high-tech thanks to Enel X.”

Michelangelo’s David now has new high-tech lighting thanks to Enel X. Ph. @marcobadiani

The aim of the project, which was designed by Enel X, the Enel Group’s energy-saving business division, is to restore the balance of light and shadows in the Accademia Gallery, in addition to using CASAMBI low-energy Bluetooth automation technology. A set of projectors has been arranged like sun rays above the statue in existing holes of the lantern. The new-generation LED lights fully encompass the David and leave the remaining space in the background, whose artificial lighting is regulated by a separate system. During daytime hours, the artificial lighting is added to the natural illumination that filters through the skylight, enabling a completely new look at the sculpture. The artificial system regulates colour variations during the day: the projectors have different hues, so that it is not only possible to observe the David from various perspectives, but also with changing shades.

A reception for dignitaries and the press at the Accademia Gallery on September 12, 2022 to celebrate new high-tech lighting. Ph. @marcobadiani

“The Luci sul David project is an innovative and visionary model for the renewal of museum spaces, which blended sustainable and energy-saving requirements with the need for the correct interpretation, study and improved enjoyment of the works,” states Massimo Osanna, director general for museums at the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Nicola Lanzetta, director of Enel Italia, presents the new lighting at the Accademia Gallery on September 12, 2022. Ph. @marcobadiani

“We are particularly proud of this project, which, through light, adds value to our country’s artistic heritage,” says Nicola Lanzetta, director of Enel Italia. “It does so with a focus on sustainability and energy saving due to the use of latest-generation technology. With the solutions used to give new light to Florence’s Accademia Gallery, innovation is at the service of art, history, culture and also the environment.”

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