David - The Sculpture

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The story of David versus Goliath, as told in I Samuel 17:28-51, tells the tale of David, a humble Shepherd boy who kills the giant Goliath with a sling and a stone. The Biblical character of David has been the subject of many works of art by some of the world’s most famous sculptures. The young David has been depicted in marble by such Italian artists as Donatello, Michelangelo, and Bernini. Michelangelo and Donatello, probably the most respected artists of the Renaissance period made their sculptures in fashion typical for that period with due respect for Greek influences. Their “David” is depicted nude and in classic muscular form. Michelangelo's statue shows David preparing for battle, while Donatello depicts David after the battle with Goliath. Bernini was an artist from the Baroque Period fashioned his David to be more true to form. Bernini does not depict David before or after the fight as his predecessors did, instead, true to the Baroque period, he shows him in action as if still in the middle of the fight. His face is grimaced in concentration, his muscles are contracted and taunt, and unlike the sculptures of Michelangelo and Donatello, Bernini's David is wearing clothes. Donatello, the first of the three artists to make a David, made history when he created this masterpiece. It became the first free-standing bronze sculpture that stood on its own completely unsupported and in nude form in the Renaissance period. At 5.5 feet in height and 1.8 feet in diameter at the base, Donatello’s David shows David standing with his left foot on top of the head of Goliath. The figure holds the sword that he took from Goliath in his right hand, and the rock with which he slew the giant in his left. Michelangelo was given the official contract to finish works already started on a block of marble, to create the sculpture of David. Michelangelo's David

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