Art is everywhere and an everyday part of our lives. It’s in the music we listen to, the architecture of buildings we see, and even the food we eat. Yet there is a reason that when most people are asked to think of art, museums, classical sculptures, and paintings probably come to mind. It is no accident the classics are called the classics. I can pinpoint the exact piece of art that taught me this lesson. The work of art that inspired me to seek out the exhilaration of art as often as I can. It was with Michelangelo’s David that I first became overwhelmed by the beauty of classical art and came to learn the potential power that art has.
I was in Florence, Italy with plans to see David, and while I was looking forward to it I did not know what to expect and did not know what I was in for. I was with a group and we were bustled into a crowded, but beautiful room with throngs of other tourists. Waiting was boring and I was growing impatient with the amount of effort to see one single sculpture, we could go to a museum and see dozens of sculptures with less of a wait. Finally it was our turn to enter the room; we left the main room to see the statue on display, where it stood alone in the center without distraction. This is where it hit me, like a ton of marble, the statue of David there in its entire splendor. Never before have I been so floored by a single piece of art. No art expert myself, the feeling is hard to describe, but I remember being stunned at first sight. The fact that any lay person can appreciate it so fully speaks to the statue’s power. The flawless proportions, the age and history behind the work, it all came together to render me speechless. There was an air about the statue, a presence that let the viewer know that it was perfect in some way, has been for hundreds of years, and will be for many to come. I have felt chills go up my spine from music before, felt strong emotions from other art and wondered just how an artist can draw something so good, but it was not until I saw this sculpture that I realized just how much a work of art can really move you.