The "Little Florence" project, the replica of the marble sculpture of Michelangelo's David

In January 2017, Dr. Wei He, the founder of the He University Campus in Shenyang, is visiting the Bazzanti Gallery.

He is looking for marble and bronze replicas of ancient and renaissance masterpieces, searching for sculptures created only on molds taken from the originals, and executed with the same techniques used in the Renaissance. The professor Wei He wants to give life in the great Campus to the project “Little Florence”, a collection of perfect and exciting replicas of all the masterpieces of the Florentine Renaissance. After visiting the Bazzanti Gallery and the Ferdinando Marinelli Artistic Foundry, he requests a consultation from Ferdinando Marinelli at the University Campus in China.

In September, Dr. Wei He, the Chinese ambassador, local authorities and Ferdinando Marinelli ascend to the statuesque white marble caves in Carrara. The Doctor ordered the reproduction of Michelangelo’s David in original size. The contract is signed on a block of marble, followed by a lunch party, and a visit to the Bazzanti Studio of sculpture near by the quarries.

The request of Dr. Wei He is categorical: the work must be perfect. The first step will therefore be that of finding the gigantic block of white Carrara marble; the sculptors of the Bazzanti Sculpture Studio will have to study each block, of the appropriate dimensions, extract: they will have to understand from the spots on the surface if they “carry” (as they say in the jargon of the marble workers) inside striations and which trend will have in the block, and if the could be cracks or internal cracks that could compromise the work. The choice will not be easy because only a perfect block will be the one from which the masterpiece will be born. The search for the right block requires a few months, until the really “right” one, weighting about 40 tons, is find.

Further checks and measurements are carried out: here we are, the block is loaded onto the truck and transported and positioned at the Bazzanti Sculpting Studio.

The plaster model taken from the original that will serve for the exact execution of the marble is taken from the Gipsoteca of the Artistic Foundry Ferdinando Marinelli, and is placed next to the marble block at the Studio

The work begins: a first “draft” is carried out to bring the block closer to the dimensions of the David, then a second “sbozzo”, a third “sbozzo”, until it approaches the shapes and to the identical volumes of the original David.

All this with the “points technique” and the use of the “machine”, an ancient three – dimensional pantograph system with a rudimentary appearance but very precise, which we will discuss in the future.
Work is still underway!