The different versions of David’s sculpture are all based on the Christian Bible, Old Testament. According to the Bible, David was young man who had the courage to face the gigantic Goliath and killed him during a war. In Florence, David was seen as a political and religious symbol. Different arts men were commissioned to make of statues of David. Each of the works had certain distinctive features.
Donatello was commissioned to make a statue of David in 1408. His first piece was made of marble. Later, in 1440, Donatello made another statue using bronze. It was a first of its kind; standing on its own, and made of bronze, during the period of Early Renaissance. The most outstanding feature is that the sculpture was a nude one. The sculpture is made with one of David’s foot on Goliath’s head after his defeat. The sculpture is 5’2 ¼ tall and was sculpted after the fight (Bennett & Wilkins, 1985, p.112).
Michelangelo’s piece of David is dated at 1501- 1504, during the period of Renaissance. The marble statue of a nude male is 5 meters and 17 foot tall. Michelangelo’s sculpture shows David before the war. Michelangelo’s sculpture shows David’s moment of deep thought, a characteristic of heroes. This sculpture is used as a symbol of perfection and glory of Florence. In contrast to Donatello’s sculpture, Michelangelo’s sculpture is completely nude (Paolucci & Amendola, 2006, p.134).
A whole contrast to the above versions of David’s sculpture, Bernini’s sculpture shows David in action. Bernini’s sculpture was created in the Baroque era. Both the sculptures of Donatello and Michelangelo show David right before and after the battle. Bernini’s sculpture, made of marble, tends to interact with the space around it, unlike the other two sculptures. Again, Bernini’s sculpture is not that of a nude male (Avery, 2007, p. 87).
In conclusion, the sculptures of David are all based on the Bible and they all bring out David as a young and handsome, yet very courageous man, who went against all odds to kill the feared Goliath in war.
Avery Charles. (2007). Bernini (German Edition). New York: David Brown.
Paolucci Antonio, & Amendola Aurelio. (2006). Michelangelo’s David. London: Royal
Bennett A. Bonnie, & Wilkins G. David. (1985). Donatello. Kingston: Moyer Bell Limited.