Friday, February 17, 2012

Michelangelo's statue of David - H.T. Kerr, D.D.

Every visitor when in Florence seeks out Michelangelo's statue of David, the shepherd lad. It is a masterpiece in marble. It stands nine cubits high, alert with all the wonderful expressiveness of artistic genius. The shepherd lad is equipped for mastery and stands with determined and expectant countenance ready for battle. The figure is erect, but the body is slightly curved as if in the act of hurling the fatal stone.
The statue has a history that is remarkable and splendidly suggestive. A hundred years or more before the time of Michelangelo, a magnificent block of Carrara marble was brought to Florence by a now unknown sculptor. He worked upon it, blocking out the figure which was in his mind, but suddenly bungled his work by cutting a great slice out of the side, which rendered it useless for him and so it was cast aside.
There it lay for a century until the trained eye of Michelangelo rested upon it. Immediately he caught the possibility that lay in the stone, and soon it was taking on form under his hand. Outlining and fashioning, carving and chiseling, a majestic figure was soon seen stepping from the marble, and even the mutilation which had rendered it useless to the original workman became part of the majesty of the new design.
Out of the ruin another hand had wrought and other eyes despised, a world's masterpiece was fashioned. Even so does our great Master, Christ, take up the very defects of life and fashion them into beautiful designs until that which under other hands has been debased and all but destroyed becomes at his touch immortal.
H.T. Kerr, D.D.

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