For Langdon, a lifelong aficionado of Italian art, Florence had become one of his favourite destinations in all of Europe.
This was the city on whose streets Michelangelo played as a child & in whose studios the Italian Renaissance had ignited.
This was Florence, whose galleries lured millions of travellers to admire Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Leonardo’s Annunciation & the city’s pride & joy –
Langdon had been mesmerized by Michelangelo’s David when he first saw it as a teenager . . . entering the Accademia delle Belle Art . . . moving slowly through the sombre phalanx of Michelangelo’s crude Prigioni . . . & then feeling his gaze dragged upwards, inexorably, to the seventeen-foot-tall masterpiece.
The David’s sheer enormity & defined musculature startled most of the first-time visitors & yet for Langdon, it had been the genius of David’s pose that he found most captivating.
Michelangelo had employed the classical tradition of contrapposto to create the illusion that David was leaning to his right, his left leg bearing almost no weight, when, in fact, his left leg was supporting tons of marble.
The David had sparked in Langdon his first true appreciation for the power of great sculpture.
Taken from ‘Inferno’