This Statue is located in the Courtyard of the Uffiza Gallery, Florence

We had to do a bit of research on this for a story-in-progress and thought it might be worth posting the first-draft excerpt (please excuse any/all mistakes, our esteemed editor is at Sugar Apple buying lunch):

RENAISSANCE MAN. Several years ago, Faye had baptized Michael with this term of endearment. She remembered the moment, as if it were yesterday. A golden autumn afternoon. The uniquely sweet-vinegar smell of over-ripe grapes from the Viticulture Lab filled the air at the University of California. Michael and Faye had just listened to another riveting ancient history lecture by the colourful and passionate Spirodakis, a favorite professor on campus. He was so popular that history classes were held in 194 Chem, to accommodate his almost celebrity-status following. Spirodakis possessed an exceptional and rare gift. He could make those long dead become vibrantly alive.

“Leone Battista Alberti. Anyone recognize his name? Anyone?”

The massive amphitheater-shaped classroom, not an empty seat available, suddenly became quiet as a tomb.

Spirodakis continued, “Leone Alberti. Ahhh! How I admire this rather spoiled-bastard-orphaned son of one of the most influential and wealthy bankers in Venice. Born on a cold February morning in 1404, Leone would live for 24,820 days. His unmarried mother would die of bubonic plague. His father, an honorable man, made sure Leone received the best education available to an Italian nobleman. At an early age, Leone’s athletic prowess and precocious intellect became legendary. Stories record his ability to, with feet together, jump over a man’s head.” Spirodakis attempted a long-jump maneuver across the stage before returning to the microphone, “He was a superb horseman and studied music with a master. In a mere lifetime of sixty-eight years, Leone became an accomplished athlete, superb horseman, musician, artist, writer, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher, cryptographer and Renaissance humanist polymath. Whew!" Spirodakis dramatically wiped his brow.

"In case you were wondering, ‘polymath’ comes from the Greek word: Polumathes, quite literally meaning ‘somebody with much learning.’ Leone stood out from the crowd. He was a mover and a shaker, part of the Humanism Italian Renaissance Cultural Movement who believed in a system of thought that is based on the characteristics, values and behavior that are believed to be best in human beings, rather than on any supernatural (religious) authority.
Leone Battista Alberti is The Original Renaissance or “universal man.”

Spirodakis paused and sipped from his famous coffee cup that lived on the lectern. He looked up, scanning the highest levels of the amphitheater,

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Modern World. Your assignment, if you should decide to accept it…this might be MISSION IMPOSSIBLE…is to consider, ponder, analyze and philosophize on this question:

Is it possible, in today’s world, 1975, to be a Renaissance Man or a Renaissance Woman?
What might Leone think of a Renaissance Woman!?!
The assignment is to be legible, due next Thursday.”

The classroom erupted into the organized chaos of student departure. Everyone waited before opening the two sets of double doors at the very top of the stairs. They waited to hear Spirodakis joyfully command: “Carpe Diem!”

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