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The Artistic Impulse - Essay Example

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[Student 1] [Student] [Professor] [Course] 8 May 2012 The Artistic Impulse In the 6th century BCE, early Greek sculpture represented the human form as nude and following the canon set forth by the Egyptians. The Egyptian canon conveys a geometric ideal concerning body proportions, for example “most statues are precisely seven “heads” tall” (Steves, 2009, 165)…
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Download file to see previous pages As Greek statuary progressed, so did a sense of individuality in the face of the statues. Attention was paid to the eyes, hair, facial features etc. giving the statue a sense of individualized life likeness. Early Renaissance sculpture marks a return to the classical period with the bronze statue David (1420-1450), created by Donatello for the Palazzo Medici courtyard. Donatello reinvented the classical nude by choosing to depict the biblical hero David, who slew Goliath, and not choosing a pagan God or athlete, as his contemporaries did. As such, the statue of David symbolizes the strength, culture and independence of the Florentine republic. David is a freestanding bronze statue and thus, is considered to be one of the first sculptures in the round, to represent the nude human form since ancient times. He stands in classical contrapposto style, [Student 2] with the weight of his body thrown to one foot creating tension on one side of the body and relaxation on the other. Standing with the Goliath’s head at his feet, Gardner (2006) likens the pose to that of a “hunter with his kill” (474). ...
Less than half a century following Buonarroti’s completion of David, biographer Giorgio Vasari writes “without any doubt the figure has put in the shade every other statue, ancient or modern, Greek or Roman” (Gardner, 502), praising the technical and aesthetic value of the colossal statue. Like Donatello’s David, he is depicted in contrapposto style; however, Buonarroti chose to represent the young man before the victory, with his head turned to left and his face full of stern watchfulness. The prelude to action is most evident in the anatomy, revealing a certain psychological energy in the pose as one views his sturdy limbs, rugged torso and swelling veins. His whole body, as well as his facial features, is tense with collective power. Gardner (2006) observes “David exhibits the characteristic energy in reserve that imbues Michelangelo’s later figures with the tension of a coiled spring” (502), showing how this David differs from Donatello’s in abandoning the self-contained composition that characterized 15th –century statuary. [Student 3] Baroque sculpture is not merely decorative, but educational in nature as well. In his sculpture David (1623), Baroque artist Gianlorenzo Bernini captures the spirit of this historical period with theatrical energy. Bernini’s work strives for a sense of unity between body, spirit, action and emotion, showing that “Baroque and the High Renaissance drew different lessons from ancient art” (Jansen, 2004, 686), however neither were more classical than the other. This three dimensional marble statue tries to focus on a very precise moment and differs dramatically from the relaxed figures of David rendered ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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