The history of the statue of David begins before Michelangelo’s work on it from 1501 to 1504. Prior to Michelangelo’s involvement, the Overseers of the Office of Works had plans to commission a series of twelve large Old Testament sculptures for the buttresses of the cathedral, David being one of them. Two other sculptors were commissioned to sculpt the grand piece of marble into the iconic biblical character, Agostino and Antonio Rossellino both failed to complete the task. Many years past 37 years to be exact before Michaelanlgo would even get a “crack” at sculpting the now famous statue.
On 16 August 1501, Michelangelo was given the official contract to undertake this challenge. He began carving the statue early in the morning on September 13, a month after he was awarded the contract. He would work on the massive statue for more than two years. Michelangelo’s David has become one of the most recognized works of Renaissance sculpture, a symbol of strength and beauty. A masterpiece.
When they asked Michelangelo how he made his statue of David he is reported to have said, “It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David.” I adore this story because I feel WE, all of us, are like both Michelangelo and the statue of David. We are the artist/creator of our lives and we are the work of art. We hold the chisel in our hands and it’s our job to chip away at the pieces of our lives that don’t belong or doesn’t look like us, to reveal who we truly are, A MASTERPEICE. Notice it took over 37 years and a few failed attempts to carve this legendary one of a kind piece of art. Sculpting who you are and smoothing out the rough edges of your life will take time but make no mistake if you like Michelangelo see the masterpiece inside and stripe away all the things that do not belong in your life you will start to see the masterpiece that is already inside of you. It’s like when Michelangelo was sculpting his famous figure of David. It was sculpted out of a “ruined” block of marble that had been rejected by all of his contemporaries. So the great artist said that he looked inside the stone to find the image he was seeking to create. He then needed only to chip away at what was not the image to reveal the masterpiece. Now let’s get to chipping.
Remember this week “YOU ARE A MASTERPEICE”!