News / Arts & Entertainment

Michelangelo Sculpture Stumps the Experts

Michelangelo Sculpture Stumps the Expertsi
X
December 20, 2012 11:58 PM
Michelangelo is known worldwide as the great Italian Renaissance sculptor. Now, one of his more intriguing works is on loan to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, which has no other Michelangelo in its collection. Carolyn Presutti reports.
Michelangelo Sculpture Stumps the Experts
Michelangelo is known worldwide as the great Italian Renaissance sculptor.  Now, one of his more intriguing works is on loan to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, which has no other Michelangelo in its collection.  
 
The white marble sculpture is graceful with curves.  One knee is bent and the torso is twisted into what the Italians call “serpentinata” or Serpentine.  Michelangelo’s mastery of sculpture makes the pose looks natural, fluid and easy.  But that is not the case when gallery visitors try to mimic it.  
 
Like many Michelangelos the sculpture appears unfinished.  Andrew Cary was mesmerized by the chisel marks.
 
“I am struck by the contrast between the harsh surface of the stone and the fleshy parts of the sculpture that just look soft somehow, even though it is stone," he said. 
 
Mary Beth Vaughn stared at its natural grace. “I think he is beautiful," she said. 
 
But no one knows who "he" really is.  The clue is in the rear, in a rough chiseled rectangular form on the subject’s back.  Was it to be the sling that David used to kill Goliath?  Or a quiver of arrows for the sun god Apollo?  
 
Darcey Kuhn just returned from a two-week vacation in Italy.
 
“I think it Is more like David, in my opinion, having seen a lot of Apollos.  It was not just Michelangelo Apollos," she said. 
 
David-Apollo has visited the United States before.  Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero explains the statue was at the National Gallery of Art in 1949 during the inauguration of President Harry S. Truman.  
 
"It was meant to thank the United States for the great support during the war, but also after the war, in the rebuilding of Italy after the destruction of that time," he said. 
 
Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi marked the David-Apollo’s return to Washington, and with it the start of the Year of Italian Culture in the United States.
 
"In 1949, almost 800,000 visitors enjoyed Michelangelo's unforgettable marble masterpiece.  I know that, over the next few months, we will certainly reach that number," he said. 
 
The David-Apollo stands in a round room by itself.  Gallery visitors circle the sculpture, inspecting it from all sides, appreciating Michelangelo's skill.  But how many know his last name?
 
She is right.  Michelangelo Buonarroti created the David-Apollo.  It stays in Washington, DC, until March. 

Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rick from: Italy
December 20, 2012 7:01 AM
When David-Apollo visiting Usa it means Italy have to thank Usa for the past as in 1949, or have to ask help for its problems today. Many italians in Italy (and naturally in Usa) are very very proud to be an allied of United States of America. For ever. Thanks VOa.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 19, 2012 9:58 PM
This is not the matter. But why did Italy thank the U.S. for its support during WWII? Did the U.S. any supports for Italy? Did not they fight each other during the WWII?
In Response

by: Rick from: Italy
December 20, 2012 12:15 PM
Hi Yoshi,
the support that Usa gave to Italy and other european country consist of liberation from the nazifascist dictatorship. In addition, after WWII, Usa made a big plan called Marshall's Plan to rebuild Europe. Usa not landed in Normandy to establish a dicatatorship. This was a big support. Unfortunatley, today, Europe need another "big lesson" of democracy, especially in monetary and economic free market fields. You, in Japan, have solved your problem after war by yourself. You are a big country, big people and (don't forget) an island, as UK. Europe is a continent, a battlefield from many centuries. Bye Yoshi and best regards.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”