David 140 Free Anniversary Events at the Accademia

2022 marks the 140th anniversary of the placement of Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery. Photo by Ted De Veer

40th Anniversary of the arrival of Michelangelo’s David in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence (1882-2022). All events take place on Mondays at 7 pm and are free to all. Availability is limited; the last entrance is at 6:30 pm.

On July 22, 1882, 140 years ago, Michelangelo’s David moved to a new home, accessible to the public eye, in the Galleria dell’Accademia, via Ricasoli 58/60. Placed inside by architect Emilio de Fabris, the location serves as protection for the statue from bad weather, pollution, and the elements, which David  previously endured in its original placement outside Palazzo Vecchio.

The Galleria’s anniversary tribute is entitled DAVID 140.  Art historians, musicians, and intellectuals will participate in a special program of events scheduled until June.  Guests include Patti Smith; Cristina Acidini; Aldo Cazzullo; Cappella de la Torre; Théotime Langlois de Swarte and Violaine Cochard; Felipe Pereda and the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino music ensemble.

DAVID 140 celebrations will commence on Monday, May 9, with a concert by a world-renowned wind instrument ensemble, “la Cappella de la Torre.” The medieval sounds of the pieces are echoed in Renaissance instrumentals, the period of Michelangelo’s David. The upcoming Mondays will also include concerts and guest speakers, with the line-up listed below.

May 16: A young French violinist, Théotime Langlois de Swarte, will perform music compositions from the 17th century to contemporary pieces. Performing alongside his colleague harpsichordist Violaine Cochard, both musicians will utilize antique instruments.

May 23: Cristina Acidini, art historian and president of the Opera of Santa Croce, will give a talk entitled “Beams and Tracks,” narrating the story of David’s move from Piazza Signoria to the Galleria. The strenuous efforts of those who moved David over five days in the early morning hours highlight the relocation’s historical significance.

May 30: A concert performed by the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino will showcase Michelangelo’s sonnets, set to music by composer Benjamin Britten. Following this, the ensemble will interpret the music of Giuseppe Verdi, a 19th century favorite, who composed during the period of when Michelangelo’s David was moved to the Accedemia.

June 6: Pietro Torrigiani, a Florentine sculptor, and known rival of Michelangelo, is famous for breaking Michelangelo’s nose. His relationship with Michelangelo will be presented by speaker Felipe Pereda, an art historian and teacher.

June 13: Aldo Cazzullo, a famous Italian journalist for ‘Corriere della Sera”, will give a talk on “Florence, the Moral Homeland of the Italians.”

June 27: Patti Smith, author and performer will conclude the first part of DAVID 140 with readings and music devoted to Michelangelo Buonarroti.

DAVID 140’s initial program ends on June 27.