News / Arts & Entertainment

Michelangelo Sculpture Stumps the Experts

Michelangelo Sculpture Stumps the Expertsi
X
December 20, 2012
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

TEXT SIZE - +
— 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 award-winning television reporter who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.  She has won an Emmy, many Associated Press awards, and a Clarion for her coverage of Haiti,  national politics, the southern economy, and the 9/11 bombing anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Syrian medical crisis and the Asiana plane crash, and was VOA’s chief reporter from the Boston Marathon bombing.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

With over five million records sold worldwide, singer-songwriter MIKA is best known for his hit single “Grace Kelly.” MIKA joins "Border Crossings" to perform live and to talk with host Larry London about his latest CD “The Origin Of Love.”