I was lucky enough to be a guest, a few years ago, at a reception in the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. (If you know your art history, you’ve already guessed what I was caught looking at!)
Just before this was taken, we’d been ushered into the museum and welcomed by a curator. We’d been offered flutes of prosecco and large caper berries on stems – a combination I still serve at parties because the flavors are so perfect together. I’d had my hair done in the city earlier in the day and even before the prosecco, I was feeling pretty great.
Of course, we weren’t allowed to take our drinks into the Tribuna, where the main attraction awaited, so at the designated moment we all sat our glasses down on trays held by beautiful Italian men, and we walked toward it — the star of the evening — Michelangelo’s original statue of David.
At first, a hush fell over the small crowd. On first sight, the sculpture is breathtaking, its disproportionate scale more perfect than life. It was the first time I’d seen it, other than in pictures, and it was truly amazing.
And then, despite our best intentions, despite our combined attempts at sophisticated art appreciation, we all turned into schoolchildren. The appreciative giggles began, a rippling murmur of whispered comments passing between well-traveled, educated grownups, as we all realize that we’re staring up and directly at David’s perfectly-shaped marble privates.
It was at that moment that my friend John called my name and snapped this picture.
So this smile…
This is the smile of a girl caught looking at a gorgeous man — a smooth, sculpted, mature man who is not wearing clothes.