365 Days of Art: January 25 – Leonardo and Botticelli Are Consulted as to Location for Michelangelo’s David

David by Michelangelo, in the Accademia Gallery


January 25, 1504

Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, and other citizens and artists are consulted as to the best location for Michelangelo’s David.

After two years of work by Michelangelo, Florentine authorities had to acknowledge that the more than 6-ton statue couldn’t be placed on the roof of the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Fiore, as they originally intended.

Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli sat on the committee of citizens and artists which was consulted to solve the problem of where to place David. They entertained nine different sites. One group, including da Vinci, believed that, due to the imperfections in the marble, the sculpture should be placed under the roof of the Loggia dei Lanzi on Piazza della Signoria. Botticelli advocated for placing the sculpture on or near the cathedral. The winning vote said to situate it at the entrance to the Palazzo della Signoria, the city’s town hall (now known as Palazzo Vecchio).

Today, David holds court in the Accademia Gallery.

Fun Fact: In 2010, a fiberglass replica was placed on the roof of the cathedral, for one day only, so that the sculpture could be seen as it was originally intended.