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David by Donatello, Michelangelo, Bemini - Essay Example

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The ‘rebirth of learning’ during the Renaissance period had truly shed light of regaining profound interests in several disciplines especially in the field of sculpture where the beauty of intellect flourished back to heights after the Dark Ages among the European nations. …
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David by Donatello, Michelangelo, Bemini
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Download file to see previous pages As the increasing pursuit for artistic excellence vividly reflects in the exquisite creations of Donatello and Michelangelo, their contemporaries were equivalently inspired to develop art forms according to the Greek and Roman concepts and this trend of innovative craftsmanship has carried on to influence even the works of Baroque sculptors like Bernini and those of the current modern artists alike. Religious themes had been immensely prevalent in the Renaissance art and David, a prominent biblical figure, became one of the famous subjects which distinguished the style and professional insights of one artist from the other as depicted in the masterpieces of Donatello, Michelangelo, and Bernini. Based on the momentous event marked by God’s will, the subject pertains to an Israelite shepherd boy who accepts the challenge and obtains triumph over the once was invincible Goliath of the Philistines. In each artist, there emerged a response of imagining how the image of David and the projection of his heroic character may be brought to a three-dimensional interpretation that highly captures a substantial depth of detailing his major act of faith. The marble statue of David which served Donatello his first commission of the subject is apparently one that radiates naturalism in part as David’s curious look in the face seems to scrutinize the enemy at the onset of the fight. After defeat of the enemy, however, such facial expression liberates a new meaning quite transcendental, which is of Gothic effect that dissolves the initial attitude into a degree of general unaware countenance. A view of David that occurs detached from struggling emotion of having fought the gigantic adversary entails perpetual sense of conquest. Certain scholars have assumed this to be a subtle if not a humble fashion of exposing the pride and any premeditated confidence of vanquishing the enemy. When Donatello proceeded to come up with the bronze case of David in ca. 1440s, the sculpture took on a significantly different approach from the marble pattern. Being the first freestanding nude male sculpture portraying an uncircumcised David bearing Goliath’s sword, the bronze statue wears an enigmatic smile besides the controversial effeminate positure. Commissioned by the Medici family for their palace in Florence, Donatello chose to sculpt David with a slight bend in his waist and one of his hands placed on his hip. The contrapposto pose was thought to be feminine; especially for a young man that just decapitated a giant like Goliath. David also had a look on his face that symbolized his youthful joy of his great accomplishment (Sayre 556). Both the laurelled top hat and boots add to the frail or fetish look that partly deprives it of the expected manly appearance which is rather plain to see in the crafts of Bernini and Michelangelo. Though it does not depart from the Greek idea of nakedness under contrapposto, the biblical essence is only slightly manifest in the bronze structure whereby the characteristic theme of the subject is less inclined to be prophetic than political. With the redundant appearance of a stone in David's sling and Goliath's forehead, Olszewski proposes that Donatello's use of the same stone twice indicates that David holds the loaded sling in the present tense while envisioning the stone's future placement in Goliath's head below. He further notes that this is in accordance to the scriptural account in which David responds to the Philistine giant in the future tense as he foretells what he is about to do to him (Olszewski, 1997). It was not until the 15th century, according to a review by L. Morelli, that idealized human figures ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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