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  • Writer's pictureJoan Fernandez

The Giant: A Novel of Michelangelo’s David

By Laura Morelli

Compelling novel pulls us back to root for Michelangelo!

It was on a trip to Italy with my family when I was 13 years old that I first saw Michelangelo’s sculpture of David. The up-close image is still strong in my mind. David’s serene, serious face, the still before the storm, just before he will hurl his shepherd stones at the bully Goliath.

More than 500 years since Michelangelo carved it. The physical form emits glorious beauty and grace even now. Imagine then how this historical novel is compelling, pulling us back to just before—before the statue was carved, before it was even conceived of, before Michelangelo was a master artist and sculptor.

As the story unfolds, cleverly told through the eyes and experiences of a rival of Michelangelo, Jacopo Torni, we see the political backdrop, the stresses of daily living, the role artists played in 16th century Italian culture.

We see how Michelangelo challenges the status of the older Da Vinci. We root for Michelangelo—and Jacopo too—to attempt to bring an idealized concept into physical form through their art. Author Morelli’s vivid world-building, enriched with careful research, brings us front and center to David’s creation. And now I must book a ticket to see David in person again!

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