From Marble to Flesh. The Biography of Michelangelo’s David
*The book that raised over 7000$ on Kickstarter
The story of Michelangelo’s David begins long before Michelangelo ever set chisel to stone. The gigantic block of Carrara marble that was to become the David was quarried more than half a century before anyone saw the statue set up in Florence’s piazza della Signoria. And in between, there’s a litany of contracts, artists and projects in different media while the patrons, the Operai del Duomo, searched for perfection, and finally got it from Michelangelo.
The life of David takes unexpected turns in later centuries. It has been seriously damaged several times both intentionally and by accident. Controversies and scandals erupted in the 19th century as the statue was almost destroyed by cleaning with acid and then moved for safeguarding to the Accademia Gallery. In the 20th and 21st centuries he’s become an artistic and popular icon as well as a symbol of Italy.
The story of David is rich in conflict, tension, controversy and cultural meaning. It is a very human story of a life-like work of art. Victor Coonin tells this story as a centuries-long biography that explains why David still resonates loudly with a contemporary audience.
About the author
A. Victor Coonin is James F. Ruffin Chair of Art at Rhodes College. He has received fellowships and grants from the Mellon, Kress, and Fullbright foundations and has served on committees for the Fullbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, and College Art Association. Author of numerous articles and editor of 2 books, this is his first monograph.
See the author speak about the book in the promotional video we made for its funding on Kickstarter.