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Comparison of Michael Angelos and Donatellos David - Essay Example

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The magnificent nude statue of David was sculptured by Michael Angelo during the mid Renaissance from 1501-1504.The figure represents the Biblical hero David, a young boy untrained to fight, yet successful in slaying Goliath with only a sling shot…
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Comparison of Michael Angelos and Donatellos David
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Comparison of Michael Angelo’s and Donatello’s David The magnificent nude statue of David was sculptured by Michael Angelo during the mid Renaissance from 1501-1504 (Stokstad 2011). The figure represents the Biblical hero David, a young boy untrained to fight, yet successful in slaying Goliath with only a sling shot. The beautiful, marble statue is situated in Florence, Italy depicting a young and muscular David, holding the sling over his left shoulder (Statue of David). Donatello’s David is an earlier bronze representation of the hero, poised triumphantly over the slain enemy’s head. It was sculpted in the fifteenth century, with dates varying from 1430’s to 1460’s (Stokstad 2011). The artists’ skillful mastery epitomizes the splendor, ideals, and artistic nature of the Renaissance period. Michael Angelo’s David shows only the youthful depiction of the man, without any representation of the enemy, Goliath. David is standing poised and calm, in a contraposto position depicting a Greek hero. His right hand is hanging carelessly close to his thigh, with the right leg taut, balancing the entire weight of his body and left leg outstretched at a relaxed angel. The smooth contours of his left hand show a careless and relaxed swing of the sling over his left shoulder. Yet the furrowed brow and the intense focus of the eyes looking off to the far left, betray a feeling of tension and focus. The relaxed pose of his body in contrast to the anxiety revealed in his face symbolizes a battle raging in his mind before the actual one has even begun. It shows the hero caught in that moment before the battle making a conscious decision of the reality ahead before the body expresses any action Donatello’s representation of the hero David shows a youthful boy, almost feminine like standing over the head of the defeated enemy. His pose isn’t triumphant and looming, rather modest and graceful. The right hand positioned down holding the sword and the left arm resting on his left hip, shows the young hero reflecting on his own body and strength. Donatello shows the body as a functional organism, signifying the importance of the individuality of David (Statue of David). The statue’s gaze instead of looking down at the slain Goliath seems to be looking inward at his own personality and beauty. Both masterpieces of Michael Angelo and Donatello show the heroes standing in magnificent contraposto positions, with nude bodies and relaxed poses. Their works were the first of their kind with Donatello’s David being the first nude statue during the Christian era. Michael’s David was also the first ever, freestanding nude depiction displayed in a public area (Statue of David). The two statues of Michael Angelo and Donatello show the heroes holding weapons, sling and sword respectively, symbolizing the event of a battle. Also, both heroes are represented as being uncircumcised portraying the custom of the time. The two works of art also illustrate stylistic differences. Michael Angelo’s David is more muscular and depicts a larger hero, standing taller than the average man. He is completely nude with no representation of the enemy. His tense expression and relaxed body portrays a moment before the occurrence of the battle. Donatello’s David is more frail and delicate and is not completely nude. He is wearing a straw hat and boots representing a Sheppard and almost biblical figure. His frail body gives the expression that his victory was the will of God rather than only his strength and physique. Also, Donatello’s sculpture shows the head of the enemy, portraying the hero after the battle has taken place. Michael Angelo’s David shows the strength and wrath as the ideals and virtues of his time (Statue of David). He is seen as a political hero looming larger than life portraying a typical Greek hero. He was commissioned by Arte della Lana and was intended to be displayed at the Cathedra but upon completion was decided to be placed in front of Palazzo Vecchio (Stokstad 2011). Michael Angelo captures the youth and strength of the hero emitting confidence and splendor characterizing the ideologies of the patrons of art during his period. Donatello’s David depicts a more biblical figure, reflecting upon his own body and individuality representing the themes of the early Renaissance period. Upon its completion it was displayed at the Palazzo Medici and now it stands proudly at Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence (Stokstad 2011). Both artists’ rendering of the hero David is truly a master piece epitomizing the ideals of the Renaissance period. Works Cited Statue of David by Michelangelo. Statue.com, 2009. Web. 16 Apr. 2011 Stokstad, Marilyn and Michael W. Cothren. Art History, Fourth Edition. Laurence King Publising Ltd. Pearson, 2011. Print. Read More
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