Stautes Of David

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate March 2001

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There are many different statues representing the hero David from the story of David and Goliath. For instance there is Gianlorenzo Bernini's David which shows he is just about to fling the rock at Goliath, there is Donatello's David in which he shows David after the fight, and there is Michelangelo's David which shows David preparing for the danger ahead. Even though all their statues are all about the story of David and Goliath, there are still very different visual comparisons on each statue.

Donatello's David is different from Bernini's and Michelangelo's because first of all it is made in bronze, and the other two are made in marble. Other things that are different are that it stands in a conthropostal pose, and is also the first free-standing nude since Roman times. Even though Michelangelo's David is nude as well Donatello's nude of David shows David at more of an adolescent age.

Other things that are not seen in the other statues that is seen in Donatello's David, is that David is standing on Goliath's head and David is also leaning on a sword. Even though the story states that David killed Goliath with a slingshot Donatello sculpted him with a sword. He probably did this to show that even though David was a young boy he acted like a man because only a man could kill Goliath and a sling-shot is more of like a kids toy.

In Michelangelo's David he made him larger that life. He also made distortions on David as his arms are too long, his hands are to big, and his feet are also too big. Michelangelo did this because this is how he imagined David to be and didn't want him to be normal because David was a hero. Unlike Bernini and Donatello's David Michelangelo makes David look like he is no match for Goliath as the statue represents him just standing there with the slingshot over his shoulders basically helpless. As a result of this Michelangelo is going for an expression of David's inner being and not going for the normal action and emotion of someone going into battle.

Furthermore the theme in Bernini's work is movement which is not found in either of the other David's. His body is twisting in space as he prepares to hurl the stone at Goliath. The coiled stance, flexed muscles, and the biting of his lip truly show great action unlike the other statues. By Bernini doing this you get a presence that David is watching his enemy approach and is about to release the rock from the slingshot. By him doing this you also get the feeling that you are actually there in the story. Finally Bernini's work is a balance between naturalism and classicism.

Some of the similarities of the statues would be that Donatello's David, and Michelangelo's David were both nudes. They were also sculpted in standing poses were as Bernini's David is sculpted in an action pose. Michelangelo's David and Bernini's David were both sculpted from marble. Both artists also portrayed David as being a muscular man was as Donatello's David is a skinny little boy. Also they both are carrying slingshots were as Donatello's David has a sword. One more thing is that they are both sculpted as older David's is and Donatello's David is young. Finally the last similarity of the statues is that all the sculptor's were Italian.

In conclusion in my own opinion I think that Bernini's David is by far the best sculpture of David because it fits the description of the story perfectly. It shows the flow of action as David is ready to fire that rock at Goliath's head and also shows good emotion in his face as he is biting his lip. Maybe its just me because I like action but I like the fact that you know he is winding up ready to kill Goliath and maybe some day I'll get the chance to go see it so I get the hole feel of actually being there.