In Florence, Italy, Michelangelo unveils his famous statue of David. The original intentions of Michelangelo are uncertain, but what is certain is that the statue quickly acquires a political purpose and meaning.
For the Florentines, the image of David the giant-killer has always been an important political symbol that inspires them in their many political, economic, and social conflicts with Rome. Placed outside the Palazzo della Signoria, an important public square and the seat of Florence's civil government, Michelangelo's David represents the ideals of civil liberties and republican government.
David is situated so that his eyes, set tight as a warning, are facing Rome.
David was originally commissioned as one of a larger set of statues of prophets that were supposed to be arranged along the roofline of the east end of the Florence Cathedral. The rest are never created and David, at 5.17 meters (17.0 ft) tall and more than six tons in weight, could never be taken to the top of the cathedral, nor could the roof hold that much weight.