Sculptures Of David

December 9, 2018 Philosophy

From 1430 to 1623A.D., four sculptures of the Biblical David were created. Fromthe master artists Bernini, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Verrocchio came themost famous David’s of the world. Even though infinitely many were made, thesesurpass the others to become marvels that will live forever. The earliest of theDavid’s, is the work of Donatello(c.1430). This magnificent work is alife-size, nude, bronze, figure of David. The sculpture is portraying the sceneafter David has cut off the head of Goliath. His foot is raised on the severedhead in a stance of contropposto. His sword is in the right hand with the stonein the left. This very smooth and natural looking sculpture was originally partof Medici courtyard and is the only David of the four created for a privatecollection. There are a few symbolic ingredients to this David. The style of thefigure refers to antiquity for the balance and composition of the nude. Energyin the sculpture animates the emotions and is a new technique used in thisDavid, once again showing qualities from antiquity. This energy is not used inthe other figures. In addition, Donatello’s David is said to host homosexualovertones, in the feministic appearance of the body and the stance. Overall,this version of the biblical hero is elegantly designed and the originality isfascinating. Verrocchio’s David (c.1473-75A.D.) greatly differs from those ofthe other artists’. This statue was commissioned by the Medici family, likethat of Donatello’s. However, it was created for public display. It was in thePalazzo Vecchio, where it gained almost a republican or city-related meaningsimilar to the reputation that the David of Donatello gained, after it was alsomoved to the same site. The similarity stops here. The proudness shows that thehero was well capable of slaying the giant where Donatello’s shows almost noemotion. The explicitness of the emotion contrasts greatly with the sensualnessof Donatello’s. Verrocchio’s is fully clothed in elegant armor whenMichelangelo’s and as well as Donatello’s were vulnerable in their nudity.

In Verrocchio’s sculpture, David carries a small sword in one hand and hisother is on his hip confidently. This figure shows a nice S-curve and a stanceof contropposto. Standing above the head of the giant, the sculpture takes placeafter the slaying of Goliath. The facial expression show triumph and most of allconfidence. Therefore, this work shows psychological implications. However, itwas meant to be more appreciated for its exceptional bronze sheen. The giganticDavid by Michelangelo (c.1501-04A.D.) is an unquestionable masterpiece. It wasoriginally commissioned as a decoration for the Florence Cathedral. Since thesculpture was so majestic, it was decided to be displayed in a closer, morevisible area. It was finally moved in front of Piazza della Signoria, where itwould replace a sculpture of Donatello’s. This David is a full nude that showsDavid before battle. The face is in profile; he has a slingshot in the left handand a stone in the right. The face shows extreme emotion which pulls it awayfrom the classical genre. The design and stance of the figure has a confidenceand arrogance that matched that of its creator, Michelangelo. This version ofthe hero was looked to as a potent symbol in Florence, resembling the Biblicalbeliefs along with the fusion of civic beliefs. This is very unlike thesymbolism of Donatello’s. The nudity symbolizes that David’s platonic loveand belief in God protected him. Michelangelo’s David is an incrediblerepresentation of both the Bible story, in that it closely follows thescripture, and reason, in the references to Greek philosophy. Thus alsosymbolizing that reason and faith (Christianity) can coexist. Finally,Bernini’s David (c.1623A.D.) conquers all in the expression of emotion. Thispublic sculpture has a face full of determination and struggling. Theexaggerated S-curve of the figure shows movement as David is throwing the stone.

None of the other three sculptures give insight during the battle with thegiant. Also, Bernini’s David is clothed in a tunic and is carrying a pouch ofsome sort. He’s holding the rock and slingshot as in action while his feet arefirmly planted in the ground. This is certainly the most dramatic and realisticportrayal of David. Bernini’s objective was not like the other artists of theDavid’s. His objective was drama. The symbolism is that of moments in hislifetime. An example of this would be the harp at his feet, depicting hisabandonment of his music when he went

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