for some reason i never felt too fussed to see david at the accademia; and then when i did, i fell head over heels.

but there is more to see at the accademia, not least michelangelo’s slaves, or the less commonly known (for us non-specialist commoners) plaster casts of lorenzo bartolini.

indeed, if you and david are standing face to face, turn your head at a strict 90° angle. at the end of that corridor, after all the ‘pieta’ paintings, you’ll see a room with white statues in the back. as this site says, (we’ll call it the official site, since it is,) the rectangular room itself used to be the woman’s ward of the hospital san matteo. now, once you get into the room, you’re in for quite a surprised. first, these white statutes crowd the room, piled high and wide and in the middle. second, they look like they have big blackheads on them. all you want to do is pop them.

please try to control yourself. those aren’t black heads, they’re more like nails (i have no idea what they actually are but i do think that’s a good guess). and these aren’t normal statues, they’re plaster casts, replicas of infamous marble works used for teaching the next generations.

close up and individually, they’re a bit creepy:


but take in the whole room and it becomes quite magical:


(photo found on the firenzez made in tuscany site)

if the site of all these white plaster casts in this long rectangular room will take your breath away, the bartolini gallery also gives us a rare insight into the artist’s creative process. it was all about precision, exact measurements, and replicas. well, for the first few years anyways.

so bartolini, who worked in the first half of 19th century, seems to have remained in the more conservative traditions of the old florentine renaissance school; but if he wasn’t edgy back then, his work is really worth seeing now.

the bartolini gallery



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