Statues Of David In Renaissance Art

2472 words - 10 pages

The story of David was a source of inspiration during the Renaissance. The Biblical story of David versus Goliath showed the strength of man defeating a giant, proving that power can come in many ways other than force. David was a frail boy, youngest son of Jesse, who tended the flock until God sent Samuel (a Judge) to anoint David to be the next king. As time progressed, David played the harp for the current King Saul of Israel, who was in a war with the Philistines. Then one day, Goliath and the Philistines had challenged Saul’s army but no one could stand in his mighty presence without falling down. Then David, representing Saul’s army came forward with a stone and sling with no armor even though Saul, the Israelite leader offered him weapons and armor, took down Goliath in one hit. This representing that David being worthless and nothing became an inspiration not only to Saul but for everyone that heard the story of a giant being slayed. This narrative was expressed in the statues of David from Michelangelo (c. 1475-1504), Bernini (c. 1598-1680) and Donatello (c. 1386-1466). The style in which David is represented differs with each artist from the Renaissance, but regardless of the differences, the work done on David has the same outlook on the biblical story of David. The comparison of the statue based on the body/ muscle structure, size, medium and the reference according to how each artist depicts David as they use their roots to create him.
But before we can look upon the statues, we have been acquainted to what sculptures are. According to Spore, sculptures are three-dimensional arts that have many forms from nonrepresentational to lifelike. The sculptures of David are full-round or freestanding three-dimensional art and was most common during the time of the Renaissance. These particular statues help the viewer to explore the statue from different angles. This in-fact causes sculptors to “concern themselves with the practicalities of engineering and gravity” to make sure that the statue is not too heavy causing the statue to crumble. This enables artists like Donatello, Michelangelo and Bernini to be well prepared when creating a statue (Spore 68-69). “Sculpture embraces such varied techniques as modeling, carving, casting, and construction—techniques that materially condition the character of the work” (sculpture) showing not only different techniques but, showing how other techniques can be used in sculpting.
As we look upon Donatello’s statue of David (1408), it depicts David as he defeated Goliath. Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi also known as Donatello was a Renaissance artist from Florence. Before, Donatello became famous with his sculptures; he was working as an assistant to sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti. Working at a goldsmith’s workshop, he learned bronze working in the busy days making the first set of doors for Florence Baptistery ("Donatello (c. 1386 - 1466)"). Assisting with many artists and...

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