The Bronze David
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Donato deBardi detto Donatello
The Bronze David by Donatello
Mid Term Paper
David, who was presumed by many of the fifteenth century to be the future king of Israel, was portrayed any many different and exciting styles. I will explain how the works of Donatello, Michelangelo and Bernini are similar and how they are very different, how the renaissance and culture influenced their works and how there works influenced society and the renaissance.
In a four hundred-year span, these three great artists created their own masterpieces. Donatellos came first, then Michelangelos, and finally that of Bernini. All three sculptors had different objectives and it shows in their work. Berninis is the most dramatic and sculptured to look more realistic. That seems to be the objective, which Bernini wished to achieve, but it was not the objective of the other two sculptors. Bernini was reported to have carved his statue of David in seven months, a remarkable achievement for the time when it was all done by hand.
Donatellos depiction of a young, almost nude David was the first large-scale bronze nude statue in the new renaissance period. His is unlike Michelangelos David, which of course is totally nude, but his wears a straw hat and boots, to perhaps show less strength like Berninis David wearing a bag of rocks and some sort of cloth, that was hastily thrown around the mid section. The straw hat that his David is wearing was the traditional for the peasants to wear in that time period for protection from the elements.
Traditionally, David was portrayed after his victory, triumphant over Goliath.Michelangelos David, is being portrayed before his fight with Goliath, and is by far better known by everyone, in fact it was the only one I knew about before taking this class. The slingshot he carries over his shoulder is almost invisible; I had to take several looks before I knew what it was. His muscular posture gives you a sense that Davids victory was one of cleverness, and a a lot
of planning, not sheer force to when the battle with Goliath. Its quit a contrast from Donateelos and Berninis depiction of David after the battle.
Michelangelo was from the City of Florence, were a copy of David stands on the square in front of city hall. The style was common for the time, between 1501-1504. Immediately to the people of the city, David was a symbol representing bruit strength and anger. I learned the statue had political connotations for the city that had recently been taken over by the Medici family. “Davids character traits, are considered more important than his victory over Goliath” (Doubleday pg. 118) which is why Michelangelo depicted him before the battle, strong-willed and ready to fight. The statue of David was started by a different artist, “Agostino di Duccio, in 1463” (Wikipedia). He picked out a rather narrow piece of stone, which many artists of the time did. Many art experts said that this was not a piece that Michelangelo would have picked. It was too thin.
Donatellos bronze statue is recognized as the first unsupported and standing work in a bronze cast since early classical times. It created an uneasy sensation when it was first shown, due to its portrayal of the nude young man, unheard of at the time. It depicts the young David with a smile, posed with his foot on Goliaths severed head after killing the giant. The youth is standing naked, apart from a cone shaped hat and boots, displaying the sword of Goliath.
Almost all statues which came after Berninis stood self contained, apart and different from the others of the era. Bernini causes the viewer to become a part of his David statue and take a new look at art. If you vision David during the fight, Goliath can easily be seen standing behind and above his shoulder. The small open space in front of the statue, on the base, helps the viewer to see the fight happening. David stands above his armor. He gleams with determination. This work of the twenty-four year old Bernini whose patron,