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Thread: David & Ponzo

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    8

    Cool David & Ponzo

    There are three Davids in Florence, the genuine one at the Galleria dell'Accademia, and two clones - the one at the original location of the genuine one on Piazza della Signoria near the entrance to the city hall, and a bronze cast on the scenic Piazzale Michelangelo.
    They're supposed to be identical replicas.
    I saw all three of them, but what I noticed was that David the Genuine looked quite a bit bigger to my brain than the other two.
    I suppose this has something to do with the background - highly curved tiles on a vault at the genuine spot, and a brick wall and the uniform blue sky at the other sites.
    This effect is known as the Ponzo effect, a psycho-visual trick the brain plays on you.
    Sofar I couldn't find any references to David & Ponzo on the Net, but maybe other forum readers who saw all three as well attentively - NOT through a camera - may have noticed this too ?
    I'd like to know !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Florence, Italy
    Posts
    2,812

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    I see them often and have always felt that the outdoors ones were smaller than the real one, I didn't realize there was actually a demonstrated effect that makes it seem so!! That would definitely explain why the one in the Accademia looks so imposing as well, very interesting!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    48

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    Technically there are more than 3 David's. You forget that Michelangelo isn't the only artist who depicted him. Imagine the outrage of Donatello! :-)

    I didn't notice the size difference, but I did note that only the originals had "presence". There was an indescribable vibe resonating when standing with them. While the Palazzo Vecchio David was cool, he didn't have the amazing feeling that "real" David has. Piazalla Michelangelo David was "meh" to me. The view of the city was much more impressive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Florence area
    Posts
    5

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    Quote Originally Posted by seriewoordenaar View Post
    There are three Davids in Florence, the genuine one at the Galleria dell'Accademia, and two clones - the one at the original location of the genuine one on Piazza della Signoria near the entrance to the city hall, and a bronze cast on the scenic Piazzale Michelangelo.
    They're supposed to be identical replicas.
    I saw all three of them, but what I noticed was that David the Genuine looked quite a bit bigger to my brain than the other two.
    I suppose this has something to do with the background - highly curved tiles on a vault at the genuine spot, and a brick wall and the uniform blue sky at the other sites.
    This effect is known as the Ponzo effect, a psycho-visual trick the brain plays on you.
    Sofar I couldn't find any references to David & Ponzo on the Net, but maybe other forum readers who saw all three as well attentively - NOT through a camera - may have noticed this too ?
    I'd like to know !
    I believe your impression depends on the three different locations: the David on Piazzale Michelangelo stands in the middle of a huge space and its size is lost inside the vastness; the one in Piazza della Signoria is surrounded by taller buildings and sculptures of which are as tall as David right next to it, which somehow diminishes the visual impact. The original David, on the contrary, (the Accademia one) is positioned at the end of a sort of visual optical tunnel -the Prigioni corridor. As soon as you enter the corridor David appears at the end of it and its size is "magnified" by several circumstances: the corridor looks longer than it actually is because of the two columns at the end (this gives an impression of distance which makes the statue at the end look even bigger) ; the purpose-built space where David stands is fairly small- thus making David appear bigger; the white walls amplify the white of David's marble.

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