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David, King of Israel

There is a palpable action that dictates the space around the form. Since Ancient Greece, Bernini’s sculptures were the first to jut out into the physical space and interact with the physical space around the sculpture and the onlooker. Bernini’s David was created after Michelangelo’s and demonstrates the changes in form and style of the Baroque period. Michelangelo’s Renaissance creation of David was unique because it was one of the first sculptures to recreate the scale and physique of the classical figures from ancient times. The block of marble used had already been worked on prior to Michelangelo beginning his most famous sculpture. Though Donatello had actually sculpted two Davids nearly a century before Michelangelo, Michelangelo’s David changed the scale and stature of the piece in comparison to Donatello’s version. As Martindale (1966) argues, “The statue that emerged from Michelangelo’s hands was more than [Donatello’s]. His gigantic naked male figure successfully challenged comparison with the great naked antique statues of gods and heroes. As historian Vasari said, ‘The David has stolen the thunder of all statues, whether modern or ancient, Greek or Latin,” (74). Without doubt, despite the very high quality and valid beauty of the Davids by Donatello and Bernini, Michelangelo’s creation is without comparison (Michelangelo 1-6).

In conclusion, we can see that all three of these sculptors not only added the elements of their period or style to their creations of David, but they also imagined him in a different manner in terms of size, scale, mood and look. Donatello features David shortly after battle, as a bit unsure but victorious boy emerging from conquest weary but proud. In Michelangelo’s version, we are presented with a David before he has met Goliath. He is sculpted as the image of highest beauty who has the courage and skills of intellect to be ready


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David, King of Israel. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:31, July 20, 2017, from
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