Hidden treasures

Where did Michelangelo choose his marble?

Did you know that...
Marmo_Carrara_Stefano_Bianchi

Where did Michelangelo choose his marble?

Carrara marble is a precious material known for its beauty all over the world. Even Michelangelo fell in love with it, not only because of its dazzling candor but because its grain was ‘compact, homogeneous and crystalline’. To give you a better idea, he used to compare it to sugar. In fact, for many of his works the great sculptor decided to use the fine white marble of the Apuan Alps. He discovered it in 1517 when he climbed Mount Altissimo and, after that, he would often visit the quarries to choose in person the blocks to be used for his artworks. It was not a matter of trust, but Michelangelo knew very well that if the marble was not adequately quarried it could crack and break, with months of work going up in smoke!

For this reason, he spent long periods in the quarries, when he was in close contact with the quarrymen, sharing their toil and the risks. Thanks to the support of Pope Leo X, a system was even devised to extract the blocks and transport them to Florence to be used for the decorations of the Church of San Lorenzo. Unfortunately, the project was not completed due to a number of reasons, including high costs, so much so that the facade of the Florentine church is still unfinished. However, Carrara marble was used for other works by Michelangelo, amongst them the famous Pietà in St Peter’s. And it was certainly not only the great sculptor who used it, the quarries in the area are still active and have been used for the Cathedral of St. Petersburg, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, just to name a few, and works by great artists such as Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore and Joan Miro.

Talking about Michelangelo, do you feel like seeing the wonderful David? Perfect, there is no problem, choose our panoramic tour of Florence, with walk in the historical center and guided visit to the Gallerie dell’Accademia.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Lucca: Who comes to Lucca and doesn't eat buccellato...

buccellato_2
Local Traditions

‘Whoever comes to Lucca and doesn’t eat buccellato can’t say they have been there’: this is what a traditional saying in Lucca ...

View

Siena: Sunto: the voice of the Palio.

sunto - Palio
Historical Curiosities

If you happened to watch the Palio of Siena, you will have surely heard the ringing of the bell on the top of the Torre del Mangia whic...

View

Livorno: Stasera ci ceni ?

stasera ci ceni_1
Local Traditions

‘Ci ceni?’ It might sound like a generic question that would usually require at least two clarifications: where and when. But there...

View

Carrara: Where did Michelangelo choose his marble?

Marmo_Carrara_Stefano_Bianchi
Did you know that...

Carrara marble is a precious material known for its beauty all over the world. Even Michelangelo fell in love with it, not only because...

View

Top posts

Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music

Guido-d-Arezzo
Big Names

In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...

View

Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

Il-bacio-dei-cristi
Local Traditions

It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...

View

Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Piero-Carbonetti
Local Traditions

Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...

View

Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens

Kinzika
Local Traditions

It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...

View