- In my age of reason class, we have recently been studying a lot of art from the Renaissance. Recently, we have been studying the statue of David a bit and I decided to take a closer look at the importance and significance of David. The portrayal of David in the sculpture by Donatello is one of the most important sculptures of the early Renaissance. The significance of the statue of David is very great. First of all, it was the first free standing nude sculpture of the Renaissance and David’s nakedness is very significant and important. Before then, the body was seen as a path to corruption so it was not to be celebrated but, the statue of David changed that. David’s nakedness further enhanced the idea of the presence of God. I think it’s very interesting that the nakedness of David in the sculpture had so much significance to God and the importance of the body. The sculpture is made out of bronze, tin, and copper and it is known to look alive and come at you when you are standing near it. The choice of bronze, the nudity, and the “contrapposto” pose all put this work in the Humanist context of emulating the antique. David looks very young in the sculpture. David also looks very smooth and refined in the picture which makes it hard to realize he just came back from a battle with Goliath. The story of David and Goliath comes from 1 Samuel 17. The Israelites are fighting the Philistines, whose best warrior – Goliath – repeatedly offers to meet the Israelites’ best warrior in man-to-man combat to decide the whole battle. Nobody was brave enough to accept the challenge besides the Shepherd boy David. He hits Goliath in the head with a stone, knocking the giant down, and then grabs Goliath’s sword and cuts off his head. In the statue, David is standing on the now severed head of Goliath. In one hand David holds a sword and in the other, a rock which took down Goliath. The stature of David was placed in the center of the courtyard of theMedici Palace in Florence. Most scholars think that the statue was commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici but the date of its creation was unknown and widely disputed. The stature of David is very, very important to the city of Florence because the Florentine people related to David. During previous wars and conflicts, the Florentine people were always the underdogs and they really appreciated the honor and bravery of David. Overall, the statue of David meant a lot to the city of Florence and it was the first free standing nude sculpture which was very groundbreaking and instrumental for artists who wanted to make nude sculptures.
“Donatello’s David.” http://www.employeesoneonta.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Mar 2012. <http://employees.oneonta.edu/farberas/arth/arth213/donatello_david.html>.