Bernini often designed sculptural groups, not individual pieces, but his marble, life-size figure of David that adorns St. Peter’s is a lone piece. In Bernini’s work which sets David in a different setting than Donatello’s or Michelangelo’s, we see the conflict and energy that embody the Baroque style of architecture. As De la Croix and Tansey maintain, “Unlike the states of rest or tension that one finds in the Davids of Donatello, Verrocchio and Michelangelo, Bernini’s version aims at catching the split-second action” (717). We are almost afraid Goliath is about to attack from the way David is bent and about to use his slingshot (Bernini 1).
Bernini’s sculpture of David appears to be in motion in time and space. 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 Renais