Galleria dell’Accademia, founded in 1784, hosts a collection of sculptures and paintings. One of the most important works on display at the museum is David by Michelangelo (completed around 1504), which was moved there in 1873.
Michelangelo has depicted David before the battle [Verrochio’s and Donatello’s Davids are depicted after his triumph standing over Goliath’s severed head]. The young Michelangelo was a citizen of the city state of Firenze (Florence). Firenze was surrounded by enemies much stronger and more numerous than the city was. When the statue of David was placed on Piazza Signoria in front of Palazzo Vecchio [where you can now find a copy, another one is at Piazzale Michelangelo], the people of Firenze immediately identified with him, as a cunning victor over superior enemies.
For them, David was a symbol representing strength and anger. David’s character traits are considered more important than his victory over Goliath, which is why Michelangelo depicted him before the battle, strong-willed and ready to fight. David will be 500 years old in 2004.
Galleria dell’Accademia houses other works by Michelangelo Buonarroti, including the Four Prisoners (completed around 1523, they are impressive!), San Matteo and Pietà di Palestrina.
Paintings on display at the museum include works from 3rd and 4th centuries, as well as 15th and 16th centuries. There are paintings by Fra’ Bartolomeo, Andrea del Sarto and Perugino from the first part of the 16th century.
The Galleria dell’Accademia definitely worths a visit. Don’t miss the Academy Gallery during your stay in Florence!