Set in stone
A breathtaking – or just cool and funky – sculpture can leave a lasting impression, even on those who aren’t big art enthusiasts. Sculptures and statues can provide a fascinating insight into the time they were made. And sometimes, they contain little ‘secrets’ – details that can reveal the mind of the creator. From Christ the Redeemer to David and beyond, here are some little fun facts that’ll make you view these works of art differently.
Christ the Redeemer
This massive statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro, one of the New Wonders of the World, is filled with fun secrets and messages. In fact, it likely literally contains many hidden messages. The statue itself is concrete, but the exterior is made of millions of soapstone tiles. Some of the volunteers who helped attach them wrote little notes, signed their names, or even made wishes on the back, according to the BBC. Just as cool, the statue actually has a trapdoor in it! The statue has an access tunnel for maintenance workers, where stairs go all the way up through the centre of the statue. On Christ’s right shoulder, there is a trapdoor where workers can climb out to abseil down and inspect lightning damage.
One of the most famous statues in the world, David resides in Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia. He stands ready to take on Goliath, and the consensus is that he was sculpted to be a ‘perfect male specimen’. And yet close observers have noticed that the statue has what seems to be a flaw: his eyes look in two slightly different directions. (It’s virtually impossible to spot when he’s on his pedestal.) While the left one looks directly at the viewer, the right one seems to gaze at a distance beyond the viewer. It’s been debated whether or not it’s a mistake, but plenty of scholars think it’s because you can’t see both eyes at a time as you walk around the statue. So, Michelangelo made sure that David’s gaze was as impactful as possible from either side. That Michelangelo; he thought of everything.