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Michelangelo's David-Apollo

December 13, 2012 – March 7, 2013
West Building, Main Floor, Gallery 11

Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian, 1475–1564, David-Apollo, c. 1530, marble, h. 146 cm (57 ½ in.), Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale Fiorentino

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: The presentation of the David-Apollo, a marble statue by Michelangelo lent to the National Gallery of Art by the Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence, opens the nationwide celebration 2013―The Year of Italian Culture. The graceful figure of a youth in a twisting pose is mysterious in both mood and subject; the elements that would confirm an identity as either the biblical giant-killer David or the pagan sun-god Apollo were never completed. With flesh areas covered by a fine network of chisel marks, the statue is a fascinating example of the non-finito, the unfinished condition that allows viewers to study the sculptural process in many works by Michelangelo. This statue was displayed at the Gallery once before, in 1949, to celebrate Italian-American friendship at the time of President Harry Truman’s inauguration.

Organization: Under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic, the presentation of Michelangelo's David-Apollo inaugurates 2013—The Year of Italian Culture, organized by The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Italy in Washington, in collaboration with the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali and with the support of the Corporate Ambassadors Intesa Sanpaolo and Eni. The presentation of Michelangelo's David-Apollo has been organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Italy in Washington, the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze, and the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.

Attendance: 151,771

Brochure: Michelangelo’s David-Apollo, by Alison Luchs. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2012.

Italian, 1475 - 1564
Michelangelo's David-Apollo: An Offer He Couldn't Refuse
Audio, Released: February 5, 2013, (48:06 minutes)
Press Event: Michelangelos David-Apollo
Audio, Released: December 6, 2012, (32:35 minutes)