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The captivating story of how Michelangelo's David went from a block of marble to a life-like modern icon. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 16, 2014.

The captivating story of how Michelangelo's David went from a block of marble to a life-like modern icon.

About this project

The Florentine Press is publishing "From Marble to Flesh. The Biography of Michelangelo's David" by Victor Coonin. This highly readable book by a professor of art history is intended for a general audience interested in Italy and art in general.

The book is ready to go to print but we need your support to cover printing costs!

*We've met our initial funding goal (thank you so much, we're thrilled that you want this book as much as we do!) but have further expenses to cover and appreciate your help!

THE BOOK

The story of Michelangelo’s David begins long before Michelangelo ever set chisel to stone. The gigantic block of Carrara marble that was to become the David was quarried more than half a century before anyone saw the statue set up in Florence’s piazza della Signoria. And in between, there was a litany of contracts, artists and projects in different media while the patrons, the Operai del Duomo, searched for perfection, and finally got it from Michelangelo.

The life of the David has taken unexpected turns in more recent times. It has been seriously damaged on several occasions both intentionally and by accident. Controversies and scandals erupted in the 19th century, as the statue was almost destroyed when it was cleaned with acid, and then moved for protection to the Accademia Gallery. In the 20th and 21st centuries he’s become an artistic and popular icon as well as a symbol of Italy.

The story of the David is rich in conflict, tension, controversy and cultural meaning. It is a very human story of a life-like work of art. Victor Coonin tells this story as a centuries-long biography that explains why David still resonates loudly with a contemporary audience.

Michelangelo's David
Michelangelo's David

BOOK DATA

  • Predicted release date: May 2014
  • 200 pages
  • 100 full colour photographs

WHAT'S NEW

This is the first book about Michelangelo's David, written for the general public, to tell the whole story of the work right up to the present day. Even if you think you know the story of the David, this book reveals many elements that are unknown even to those who have studied Michelangelo. The work is made lively by a discussion of the use of the image of the David in modern advertisements, in particular his "adoption" by the LGBT community.

As far as we know, this is also the first example of an Italian art history book being funded on Kickstarter.

THE AUTHOR

The author
The author

A. Victor Coonin is James F. Ruffin Chair of Art at Rhodes College. He has received fellowships and grants from the Mellon, Kress, and Fullbright foundations and has served on committees for the Fullbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, and College Art Association. Author of numerous articles and editor of 2 books, this is his first monograph.

For a list of his publications please see here.

THE PUBLISHER

The newspaper
The newspaper

The Florentine Group is based in Florence, Italy; it has published the newspaper The Florentine since 2005, while The Florentine Press produces books inspired by the Florentine experience. Our most recent art-related book, Invisible Women by Jane Fortune, was made into a PBS documentary, which won an Emmy in 2013 in the best Historical/Cultural Program category. We have also published a book about the "lost" fresco by Leonardo da Vinci (by Rab Hatfield), topic of a major National Geographic campaign.

We are located in the heart of Florence and strongly believe in the promotion of Made in Italy and the creation of a community based on a love of this city and country. Our staff is made up of Italians and resident native English speakers (from Canada, UK and USA).

THE CAMPAIGN

This Kickstarter campaign has been created exclusively to cover the cost of printing this book. All other production costs have been taken care of. We will print 1000 full colour offset copies of this book, using a local Florence-based printer. We'll personally check quality as it comes off the press. The paper we have chosen is also made in Italy and comes from certified, renewable sources. Printing in Italy is not the cheapest option, but it guarantees the production of a beautiful and highly collectible book.

THE REWARDS

5$ - Thank you from the heart. Your name will be included in the list of everyone who backed the project, in a beautifully laid out page in the printed book (and in the ebook too, of course)

10$ - Ebook + thank you. You'll get an epub or kindle format file that can be used on your ebook reader (including any IOS or Android tablet).

15$ - The Florentine PDF subscription -  If you're not already a subscriber to The Florentine, back the project, be thanked in the book, and receive our monthly newspaper in PDF (it's normally for sale here).

25$ - I am so digital. A backer asked about getting the PDF subscription AND the ebook so we made this reward level, which also includes our sincere thanks, of course.

BOOK REWARD LEVELS

There are three reward levels to get a printed copy of the book. It will be printed on paper made in Italy, in full colour offset:

35$ - Italy expat - a copy of the book, intended for those living in Italy (shipping to Italian addresses)

44$ - Italy lover - a copy of the book, intended for those living in the USA, EU or anywhere else in the world

55$ - Supporter - a copy of the book, personally signed for you by Victor Coonin, shipped anywhere in the world.

SUPER REWARD LEVELS

$65 - I love kitsch - read a copy of the book while wearing your own David apron. Feel the love, feel the kitsch. Looks great on men or women, like on Federico here below.

Federico (staff) models the kitsch apron
Federico (staff) models the kitsch apron

$200 - digital portrait supporter - The Florentine's staff illustrator, Leonardo Cardini, will render a headshot of your choice in his signature portrait style - the one he uses for his Italian sketches of famous people (see photo below). You'll send a photo that becomes the basis for Leo's drawing, done with a digital stylus. Receive the portrait in high resolution digital format, ready to be sent to a printing service (you can then have a canvas or poster made), or to be used as your social media profile image.

In addition to the custom digital portrait you will of course get a printed copy of the book and our sincere thanks.

Digital portraits from photos of famous people by Leonardo Cardini
Digital portraits from photos of famous people by Leonardo Cardini

$320 - book club special - For book clubs and reading groups, pledge this amount to receive 10 copies of the book and a specially designed reading guide created by the author to guide your discussion.

TOUR REWARD LEVELS

$100 - David group tour - On Wednesday June 11 at 5:30pm, the author, Victor Coonin, will be leading a very special visit to the David. Learn from the source, in front of the statue, and receive your copy of the book then and there. Included in this fee is your entry ticket to the museum and "whisper system" headphones, as well as the presence of a licensed tour guide.

$500 - Private Michelangelo Tour with Alexandra Lawrence

Meet licensed guide to Florence, Alexandra Lawrence, in this video:

This donation gets you a 3.5 hour private Michelangelo tour of Florence with The Florentine's expert guide. Alexandra will take you to Casa Buonnaroti, Palazzo Medici, the Church of San Lorenzo and of course to the Accademia to deeply explore the career of Michelangelo. You'll also get one copy of the printed book, and our sincere thanks.

Risks and challenges

We do not believe that there are any major risks associated with this project. The book itself is already in the process of being laid out.

The funds collected are associated directly with printing costs. We have chosen a local Florentine offset printer capable of doing the job. We have also sourced the paper we want to use. Should this printer be unavailable for some reason, we have one or two backup companies that can be used for a similar price. Although small delays in timing may take place, we have left ourselves ample time to receive the full stock of printed books by the end of May 2014, in order to be able to ship out rewards in June 2014.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Yes, and we have. The 5000$ we're asking for on Kickstarter amounts to about one-fifth of the cost of producing this book. The publishing house, the author and the university where he works, as well as academic research grants, have provided financial support towards the various aspects that go into making a book of this caliber. Any further donations will go towards printing additional copies of the book. Your backing is an invaluable expression of interest in the topic, which enables us to determine the level of public interest and involvement in the project.

    Last updated:
  • No, we don't think so. This is a book written for the general public in an approachable way, in clear language. The author is a professor who really believes in sharing his knowledge of art with everyone interested. Academic presses tend to publish in very small print runs, whereas we hope that the 1000 copies we'll print if this project is funded is just the start. This is a book that we think has runaway bestseller potential as long as it reaches people beyond scholarly publics.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    12 backers Limited (188 left of 200)

    Thank you in book

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    32 backers Limited (168 left of 200)

    1 copy of the E-book
    + Thank you in book

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    6 backers Limited (194 left of 200)

    The Florentine PDF subscription 1yr
    + Thank you in book

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    5 backers Limited (95 left of 100)

    "I am so digital" 1 copy of the E-book + The Florentine PDF subscription 1yr + Thank you in book

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    9 backers Limited (141 left of 150)

    "Italy expat" 1 copy of the printed book (shipping within Italy included) + Thank you in book
    *Italy only*

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $44 or more

    35 backers Limited (465 left of 500)

    "Italy Lover": 1 copy of the printed book (shipping to USA / EU / Asia included)
    + Thank you in book

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    43 backers Limited (57 left of 100)

    "Supporter" 1 signed copy of the printed book (worldwide shipping included)
    + Thank you in book

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $65 or more

    3 backers Limited (47 left of 50)

    "I love kitsch supporter" 1 copy of the printed book (worldwide shipping included)
    + 1 David apron
    + Thank you in book

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    2 backers Limited (18 left of 20)

    Access for 1 person to 1hr group tour to see the David at the Accademia with author Victor Coonin, accompanied by licensed guide Alexandra Lawrence. Museum ticket and headset included.
    **TOUR DATE Wed June 11, 5:30pm**

    + 1 copy of the printed book (delivered on location)
    + Thank you in book

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $165 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    "Three friends" - 3 signed copies of the book delivered to one worldwide address + thank you in book

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    "Portrait supporter" Handmade digital portrait from photo (see description) + 1 printed copy of the book (worldwide shipping) + Thank you

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $320 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Book club special: 10 copies of the printed book + readers' guide written by the author
    + Thank you in book

    ***Please note: shipping within ITALY + USA only / no EU/Asia/Australia/NZ etc**

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    3.5 hour Private Michelangelo tour for up to 4 people with licensed guide Alexandra Lawrence. Tour includes Casa Buonarroti, San Lorenzo, the Accademia and other locations related to the artist, including of course a visit to the David.
    **Date to be concurred with guide any time before June 2015**
    + 1 copy of the printed book (delivered on location)
    + Thank you in book

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)