Michelangelo's david

Study abroad program: art in Italy

Views 86 | Time to read: 2 minutes | Uploaded: 11 - 4 - 2014 | By: Wendy Waldrop

This semester, I am studying abroad in Orvieto, Italy with Gordon College. Words cannot describe how incredible this time has been thus far, and it would be impossible to try. Thus, since pictures are worth a thousand words, I thought it would be appropriate to describe my experience in photos!

Two weeks into the semester, our group traveled to Rome, where we saw enough art to make my head spin. Among the beautiful works we saw was the magnificent Discobolus of Myron (Greek sculpture, 460-450 BC) and the Boxer of Quirinal (bronze Greek sculpture, 300s BC). After learning about such works in the classroom, seeing them in real life was invigorating.

Outside the art museums and galleries were feats of architectural genius that I’ll never forget. The Roman Colosseum was a sight to see, mostly because of how large and geometrically perfect it was. The following image is a reflection of the Colosseum in a puddle. It rained quite a bit while we were in Rome.

We most recently returned from Florence, home of Michelangelo’s “David,” as well as works by Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Bellini, Giotto, and Donatello—just to name a few. It was incredible to see Michelangelo’s 14th century “David” alongside Donatello’s works from the 15th century. Both capture David in a resting pose after slaying Goliath. Can you spot the difference between the two?

We also saw an unfinished sculpture from Michelangelo called “The Apollo-David,” or “Appolino.” Art historians aren’t sure which character Michelangelo intended to capture in this work, so it remains an open-ended question. I loved this piece for many reasons, but mostly because I think it is beautiful that even an unfinished work is completed in its own right, and was placed in a museum.

In essence, this time has been visually invigorating and rich in countless ways. I hope that every student has the opportunity to travel abroad—whether in college or afterwards— to experience this abundant world of art, history and culture.


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