Some five hundred years ago, a 26-year-old sculptor was given the task of turning a leftover slab of marble into a work of art. Other artists had tried to give life to the stone and had failed, but the young artist took on the contract, determined to shape the marble that others had discarded.
Early in the morning on September 13, 1501, the young artist began to work in order to extract his vision from the piece of stone. He carved and carved until he set his dream free.
Later, artist Giorgio Vasari would describe the process as, “bringing back to life of one who was dead.”
In June 1504, the statue, a depiction of the Biblical character David of epic proportions, was installed at the entrance of the city’s town hall. The name of the artist? Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, known best as Michelangelo.
“How did you create such a masterpiece from a crude slab of marble?” asked an admirer. “It was easy,” Michelangelo responded. “All I did was chip away everything that wasn’t David.”
Michelangelo, for all his genius, was quite infamous for such remarks. On another occasion, he simply stated, "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."