Michelangelo’s David: triumph of perfection or perfect combination of variation and disproportions? A human perspective
- Michelangelo’s David,
- minor anomalies,
- reverse phenotyping,
Copyright (c) 2019 Matteo Della Monica, Pietro Antonio Bernabei, Elena Andreucci, Giovanna Traficante, Ferdinando Paternostro, Francesca Peluso, Roberto Mauri, Aldesia Provenzano, Sabrina Giglio, Ornella Casazza, Massimo Gulisano
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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 Our re-examination of the statue, from our perspective as clinical geneticists, shows unexpected and hitherto unpublished details of variations and disproportions within the overall context of exceptional harmony and beauty.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”.