The David's: A Comparison of Three Sculptures

Published: 2021-06-29 07:04:38
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The most famous David sculptures of the world came from the well-known and proficient artists of Donatello, Michelangelo, and Bernini. There have been an endless amount of David sculptures created throughout time but these works have eclipsed most other works to become sensations that will live forever. The three artists all depict David's biblical story using a sculpture but do so with drastic differences and in very different time periods.
The first of the three sculptures was carved by Donatello during the Gothic period. The "operai of the cathedral of Florence"[1] appointed Donatello to carve the statue of David in 1408. Donatello's first David was the first life-size nude statue since Classical times and is made of marble. The second David created by Donatello for the Medici family was done in bronze in the 1440's and is medium size. This David is the only one of these four created for a private collection. The bronze David is another nude statue but this one is wearing boots and a hat. In this bronze sculpture of David there is a style and energy that shows qualities of antiquity. It also shows qualities of Florentine strength and independence. In both of Donatello's sculptures David is shown after the defeat of Goliath. David is shown standing victorious over the head of the giant.[2] For Donatello's sculptures he chose to represent David as an adolescent boy who is barely developed. Some even suggest homosexual implications because of the feministic stance and appearance.
The second of the three sculptures of David was created by Michelangelo in 1504 during the Renaissance. This David was commissioned for the Florence Cathedral but eventually replaced Donatello's David in front of Piazza della Signoria. Reminiscent of Greek sculpture use of Idealism Michelangelo's David is over fourteen feet tall and is meant depict David as a flawless, imposing figure. His David stands in a contrapposto position making his sculpture look more naturalistic. Michelangelo's David is sculpted from marble. Unlike the sculptures of Donatello and Bernini Michelangelo's portrays David before the battle with Goliath. His David looks as if he is tensed with a furrowed brow depicting his concern before the fight with Goliath.[3] His head is turned to the left suggesting he is watching his opponent approach him. Michelangelo's David has lifelike qualities such as the detail in the toenails, the veins in the arms, and his hands that wrap around a rock held in his right hand. His David also has small slingshot over his left shoulder which I believe is there to represent his canny mind that was used to defeat Goliath. Michelangelo's David closely represents the Bible story and references to Greek philosophy.[2]
The third of the three sculptures was created by Bernini in 1623 and is Baroque. Unlike the others Bernini's sculpture depicts David in the actual battle with Goliath. It doesn't show David before the fight or after the victory but rather portrays "David in the act of throwing the stone"[4]

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