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This week, from July 14th – July 19th is the first ever Settimana Michelangiolesca (“Week of Michelangelo”) in Florence – featuring concerts, shows and exhibitions dedicated to the Florentine artist.

160806853-5bd89459-afc3-41f6-a1c8-284f5c57484fThere’s a graffitied reproduction of his David…

A reenactment of the artist’s body being stolen from Rome and smuggled back to Florence after his death…

Multi-media projects celebrating his art and life (some projected on the facade of San Lorenzo)…

images-9And even a 40-ton block of Carrara marble — the same size and type as the block Michelangelo used to carve his David — unveiled in Piazza della Signoria

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I, for one, hope this festival grows into a popular ANNUAL tradition – not only because Michelangelo’s art and life deserve to be celebrated every year, but because of the city’s underlying mission:

The festival is designed to engage the general public with art
and forge a connection between the art of the past
and the contemporary world.

I think Michelangelo would be proud of this festival. He was a loyal Florentine (He even signed his Pieta in Rome: “Michelangelo Buonarroti of Florence made this”), and I like to imagine him, returning to Florence 500 years later, to see his life and art celebrated in the streets of his hometown — at the same churches and on the same streets that existed during his lifetime.

He always wanted his family and countrymen to be proud of him. This festival is yet more proof that his wish most certainly came true.

But I also think Michelangelo would be proud of his city for trying to connect the art of the past to the art of the present.

That’s what Michelangelo did with his own art. He referred BACK to the ancient art of the Romans and Greeks (colossal marble statues, epic stories, classical elements), but always with a NEW twist. He used contemporary philosophies of humanism and advances in perspective and designo to reinvent classical art for HIS time. Then, he pushed art even further — twisting his figures into strange contortions and driving art toward Mannerism (and, some argue, the beginnings of Modernism itself).

So, I think this festival is a BRILLIANT celebration of Michelangelo – not only of what his art was in the past, but what it continues to become in the present.

May this festival last ANOTHER 500 years.


Here are links to some articles/photos about the festival (in Italian – sorry I couldn’t find any other stories about this in English!)

Firenze Today (the original article that inspired THIS blog)

Firenze Repubblica (some GREAT pictures)

La Nazione

Arte Italia