Michelangelo and Bernini both created magnificent sculptures of the Biblical David, They are often compared because Michelangelo’s figure epitomizes the High Renaissance period in art history, while Bernini’s David shows the distinctive features of Baroque…
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This statue lacks depth, since all the focus is on the frontal view. David’s expression is cool and enigmatic, which distances the viewer and encourages contemplation of his beauty rather than empathy with the story of David and Goliath.
Bernini’s David, on the other hand, is leaning to one side, in a bent position. It is as if he is moving through time, having just picked up the stone, and now aiming it in his sling and about to fire it at Goliath. The viewer is drawn his facial expression, which is contorted in quite extreme emotion, and the sweeping line from his left ankle to his head. There is no mistaking a frown of concentration around his eyes and a firm determination in his downturned mouth. Bernini’s David has both arms drawn to the left, holding the sling tight, which takes him temporarily off balance. Arm and leg muscles are tensed, making the sculpture dramatic, and dynamic, almost as if he is about to step out from the podium. This is an open form sculpture which interacts with the space around it in a dramatic way, while Michelangelo’s David is static, and merely looks out from a still
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It started in Italy in the 1400s and ended roughly in the 1600s in further reaches of Europe. Meanwhile, Italy had already progressed to the Baroque, in which expression took on a more emotional appeal, focused more on natural depictions and emphasized grandeur.
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