Vol. 124 No. 2 (2019)
Original Article

Michelangelo’s David: triumph of perfection or perfect combination of variation and disproportions? A human perspective

Matteo Della Monica
Medical Genetics Unit, Meyer Children’s University Hospital, Viale Gaetano Pieraccini, 24 -50139 Firenze
Pietro Antonio Bernabei
Independent Fine Art Professional Firenze
Elena Andreucci
Medical Genetics Unit, Meyer Children’s University Hospital, Viale Gaetano Pieraccini, 24 -50139 Firenze
Giovanna Traficante
Medical Genetics Unit, Meyer Children’s University Hospital, Viale Gaetano Pieraccini, 24 -50139 Firenze
Ferdinando Paternostro
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Largo Brambilla 3 - 50134 Firenze
Francesca Peluso
Medical Genetics Unit, Meyer Children’s University Hospital, Viale Gaetano Pieraccini, 24 - 50139 Firenze
Roberto Mauri
Medical Director Elcor Rehabilitation Center Arnot Medical Center, Elmira NY
Aldesia Provenzano
Department of Clinical and Experimental Biomedical Sciences and Medical Genetics Unit, Meyer Children’s University Hospital, viale Pieraccini, 24 - 50139 Firenze
Sabrina Giglio
Department of Clinical and Experimental Biomedical Sciences and Medical Genetics Unit, Meyer Children’s University Hospital, viale Pieraccini, 24 - 50139 Firenze
Ornella Casazza
Independent Fine Art Professional Firenze
Massimo Gulisano
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Largo Brambilla 3 - 50134 Firenze
Published November 21, 2019
Keywords
  • Michelangelo’s David,
  • morphology,
  • minor anomalies,
  • reverse phenotyping,
  • NGS
How to Cite
Della Monica, M., Bernabei, P. A., Andreucci, E., Traficante, G., Paternostro, F., Peluso, F., Mauri, R., Provenzano, A., Giglio, S., Casazza, O., & Gulisano, M. (2019). Michelangelo’s David: triumph of perfection or perfect combination of variation and disproportions? A human perspective. Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 124(2), 201-211. Retrieved from https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/ijae/article/view/10782

Abstract

Michelangelo’s marble sculpture of David is one of the most admired works of art in the world. It is the most iconic symbol of the Florentine Renaissance, and a representation of the idealized human form in its perfection and proportion. The statue was examined in 2004 by two anatomists who observed the apparent absence of a single muscle. Our re-examination of the statue, from our perspective as clinical geneticists, shows unexpected and hitherto unpublished details of variations and disproportions within the overall context of exceptional harmony and beauty. This apparent contradiction raises the question as to what is considered to be morphologically “normal” and what “is not”.