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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the latest edition of "Beyond Category" blues singer and guitarist Corey Harris performs with his band and talks about his travels in West Africa tracing the roots of the blues.