I went to Florence in October, after visiting my brother in Milan. “Florence: We’re More than Just the Renaissance” seemed to be the city slogan. Still, I wanted to see the museums. I took a trip to the Bargello, which houses Donatello’s David, and skipped Michaelangelo’s masterpiece all together.
As I looked at him—beautiful, sensuous, conceited—I listened to a British woman (sleek, silver bobbed hair) discuss the piece with her messy redhead granddaughter, freckled and bespectacled, 11 or 12 at most.
“What do you think?” the elder asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Well, how does it make you feel?”
“I can’t explain it.”
“If he were to talk to you, what would he say?”
“Would it help if I told you what I think?”
“Well,” the grandmother continued, “I think he’s very sexy.” The girl snickered. “And look at how his hand is on his hip. Isn’t it effeminate? I think he’s quite satisfied with himself. And who’s he standing on? What is that?”
“A body. No. A head.”
“What’s in his hand?”
“And what did David use his slingshot for?”
“Right. And look at how he’s standing. I think it says ‘don’t fuck with me.’”