Sculpting Life

Sculpture, Art, Bargello, Florence, Italy

(Sculptor: an artist who makes sculptures; carver; modeller.)

A sculptor sits at his block of stone. In his mind is a vision of what he’d like to carve from it.

With every stroke of his hammer, he must decide.

What to keep? What to remove?


The chisel moves a little. The artist adjusts his instrument’s angle, the direction of his stroke.


After every few hits, a piece chips off and falls to the ground… to be swept away at the end of the day, as rubble.

What’s left behind with the block of stone becomes a part of his sculpture.

If he strikes wisely and well, if his mind’s eye can see the image locked within rock clearly, if he makes few mistakes and has skills or talent, he’ll create a masterpiece.

Last night, as I thought about the lovely creations in Florence’s Bargello museum – it’s to sculpture, what the Louvre is to painting! – I was struck by an insight.

We are like sculptorsof our own lives!

Every day, at every moment, we make choices. As a result of these choices, bits of our future are either retained in the block that’s our life – or discarded, to fall by the wayside, possibly to never be visited again.

Events. Places. People. Actions. Even thoughts.

We keep some. Reject others. And by those choices, we’re shaping our life.

When we get it right, life’s grand.

And when we don’t, it’s time to change things.

After all, the world’s most famous sculpture – Michelangelo‘s ‘The David’ – was crafted from a block of marble that had been deeply grooved by an earlier artist who abandoned his project midway!

Go on, then. Sculpt your life. Start today.

To inspire you, I’ve shared some of the fantastic works of art from the Bargello museum in Florence, Italy…


Moses – by Ammannati

Moses by Ammannati - Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy


Bacchus – by Giambologna

Bacchus by Giambologna - Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy


Flying Mercury – by Giambologna

Flying Mercury by Giambologna - Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy


Bacchus – by Michelangelo

… a classic sculptural marvel!

Bacchus by Michelangelo - Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy


Madonna and Child – by Michelangelo

Madonna and Child by Michelangelo - Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy


Base of Perseus – by Cellini

Perseus Base by Cellini


Bacchus – by Sansovino

a challenge to the Maestro’s version of it

Bacchus by Sansovino - Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy


In the Donatello Room at the Bargello Museum in Florence, Italy, there are some masterpieces… like these:

St.George – by Donatello

St George by Donatello - Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy


David – by Verocchio

David by Verocchio - Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy


David – by Donatello

David by Donatello - Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy

These somewhat effeminate Davids are forerunners of Michelangelo’s famous, iconic sculpture of the Biblical warrior which is now in the Galleria Accademia at Florence, Italy.

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale - Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy



I shot this in front of the sculpture of Narcissus, by Benvenuto Cellini.

Dr.Mani with Narcissus - Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy

In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter from Thespiae who was extremely proud of his beauty. Knowing this, Nemesis lured Narcissus to a pool, where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell deeply in love with it… and kept staring at it until he withered away!

Narcissism means a fixation with one’s physical appearance or public perception.



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