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Fig. 3, Gianlorenzo Bernini, “David”, c.1623, Borghese Gallery, Rome (Source: Wikimedia Commons)


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Michelangelo’s Statue of David was completed in 1504, and is one of the many renowned works of the Renaissance Period. This frosting was i was delegated in a series of statues to heat the top of the Florence Cathedral, however instead the was placed in the public square external the Palazzo della Signoria.

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<1> The statue to be then relocated to the Accademia Gallery, likewise in Florence, in 1873 because that conservation purposes. The statue to be hardly suitable to a ar in the Piazza. It to be designed to be seen from below, the oversized head and hands that the figure become unexpectedly influential when the frosting is just above pavement level.<2> In Michelangelo’s David, the pose is similar to the of the timeless Greek body. His figure is in a peaceful contraposto pose, v one hand at his side and the other carrying the sling. This is just one of the identifications that the number is David from the biblical tale of David and also Goliath. Indigenous the attitude of the figure, the viewer have the right to see the he is stand straight, tense, and also ready because that combat. The furrowed brow suggests that David is thinking of what strategy to continue with, versus Goliath. The physiognomies that his functions behold much symbolism that have the right to be compared to Bernini’s David.

Bernini’s David to be completed in 1623-1624. The statue was commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese come be put in the repertoire at the Borghese gallery in Rome. It is unknown regarding whether or no the Cardinal particularly asked because that a statue the David, or if he simply commissions for 4 random subjects. This is the fourth and also final life-sized statue of the repertoire that was i was delegated by Cardinal Borghese. The David is psychologically more advanced than any other Borghese statues. Together his feet spread broad apart, he twisted to obtain the best swing because that his shot while his head stays fixed in his concentration on the giant adversary.<3> The motion of the figure broke brand-new ground in the baroque duration because it had actually never to be expressed this way before in a statue of this subject. It is one Olympic stance that have the right to be watched in different forms that two ancient masterpieces. First, that is a reinterpreted stance from Myron’s classically balanced and static Discobolos.<4> Second, it additionally stands in referral to the Borghese Warrior, which stood adjacent in the Cardinal’s gallery. In enhancement to having a reinterpreted pose, the activity of the frosting insinuates that the viewer is the human being attacked. It is a safe presumption to say that this sports of David is quite different from any seen in the past. “It serves together a milestone in the breakthrough of psychological and spatial strength released with Bernini’s chisel, and some say it is a revealing self-portrait.”<5>

At very first glance, the 2 statues are obviously various styles, but they stand for the very same subject matter. One statue comes from a clear renaissance and also antiquated background, and also the other from a baroque background. Both numbers have an intense psychological an interpretation shown in the face features. The symbolism the both characters display is that they space both in battle, one of two people preparing because that it or engaging in it. The affect of Michelangelo on Bernini’s David have the right to be watched in two significant ways once assessing the details objects in the statue. First, both artists supplied the sling to portray the statue as being David native the biblical tale. Second, the absence of the head the Goliath create a feeling of selfhood on simply the figure of David and makes the moment of the occasion unknown. Since the head that Goliath is usually used as a prize of win the viewer deserve to assume the battle is still ongoing or hasn’t also started. The portrayal the the head the Goliath is a usual incident in countless other statues that David, such together by the artists Verrocchio and Donatello, and also can be similar to Caravaggio as well. However, Bernini’s David walk nothing to portray the triumphant young victor, but an ext a full-grown, fully engaged man. An additional interesting factor about both figures, is the the artists were apparently affected by antiquity. The affect on Michelangelo deserve to be seen with the timeless Greek musculature and the affect on Bernini is the movement or stance of the figure. Though they are not specifically the same as ancient Greek and Roman statues, they carry out both it seems to be ~ to have actually influenced stylistic qualities.

The artist’s differ in their portrayal of David in a much less apparent, but more symbolic way. Bernini’s David has an noticeable intent ~ above hitting or attack an unseen pressure while Michelangelo’s David is still contemplating what his strategy will be. This makes the activity of Michelangelo’s David harder come interpret. However, that does not median Michelangelo’s work is an ext intellectual and also Bernini’s work-related is an ext physical. Both works portray physiognomy that have the right to be taken in countless different ways. Bernini provided his skills learned from studying Michelangelo’s David to create a masterpiece that portrayed physical and also psychological awareness.

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Fig. 5, Michelangelo Buonarroti, “Statue the David”, c. 1504, Florence (Source: Wikimedia Commons)


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Fig. 6, Gianlorenzo Bernini, “David”, c. 1623, Rome, Borghese gallery (Source: EnlightArt)


<1> Anthony Hughes. Michelangelo. (London: Phaidon push Limited, 1997), 70


<2> Hughes, Michelangelo, 71


<3> Howard Hibbard. Bernini. (New York: Penguin Books, 1965, 55


<4> Charles Scribner III, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. (New York: harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, 1991), 66


This is an digital exhibit preserve by college student in ARTH 470s: Bernini, in ~ the college of mary Washington, spring 2013.
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