Dr. Daniel Gelfman himself had never recognized this feature in photos he saw of the “David,” but when he viewed the artwork in person during a visit to Florence, Italy, in 2018, he noticed a bulging vein on the right side of the biblical hero’s neck. If a person showed up in his exam room with such a vein, Gelfman would immediately think the patient had significant heart disease.

But the “David” is supposed to depict a healthy, vibrant person. Why would Michelangelo have bequeathed such a feature on him, wondered Gelfman, an associate professor of internal medicine at Marian University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.