Essay: Renaissance Art

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[. . .] However, the fact that he has an arrogant stance and that he holds his leg on Goliath's head transmits a much stronger message -- the statue is intended to shock through the confidence it puts across (The Subject of David from Donatello to Bernini).

Andrea del Verrochio's David was created several decades consequent to Donatello's work, but the artist chose to represent the same period in the character's life. It would be safe to say that Verrochio was acquainted with Donatello's version of David and that it probably inspired him. The artist appears to have directed his attention toward creating a much more expressive version of the sculpture. While Donatello's David has a warrior's helmet on its head and it is relatively difficult to interpret the look on the statue's face, Verrochio's puts across intense feelings. The artist in this situation chose to portray David as a more mature individual than how Donatello portrayed him. The statue also presents an effeminate person that is holding his foot over the slain Goliath's head, but in this case the person seems to be more manly than Donatello's portrayal. To a certain degree, it might be possible that Donatello's homosexual background had a strong influence on how he perceived the biblical hero (David). In contrast to this, Verrochio choses to portray David in a way that has nothing to do with sexuality and actually chose to have the statue wear a Roman-type tunic in an attempt to have viewers focus on the scene rather than to concentrate particularly on the individual.

Verrochio obviously focused on the facial expression present in his sculpture. This is a character that seems to have overcome his childish feelings and has become familiarized with his power. However, he is reluctant to express the overconfidence one can find in Donatello's sculpture. It almost seems that this particular work was intended to emphasize the fact that David was mature at the time when he killed Goliath. To a certain degree, it appears that it was the event itself that made David feel that he experienced a type of maturing process.

Donatello was aware that the masses were likely to be acquainted with David's life consequent to this event and thus chose the overall scene as a means to make viewers feel closer to the individual. The artist probably considered the Medici family as being similar to David. However, he chose to show David in a moment when he did not know what was coming and was just enjoying the fact that he defeated Goliath. This contributes to the assumption that Donatello was able to tell that the Medici family would eventually going to pay for its extravagance. At the time the Medicis were in a state where they felt they were about to rule the world and were too blind to realize that their actions were likely to put them in a critical situation.

Verrochio wanted to show David as a person who was proud about the event he had been trough but who was not necessarily interested about having viewers believe he wanted to brag about it. In contrast Donatello portrayed the hero as an almost seductive individual who was determined to influence people to believe he was better than most people and that he was entitled to being worshipped.

Michelangelo's David is very different from Donatello and Verrochio's, as the statue is meant to show David at a later stage in his life. Michelangelo intended to display David as a much stronger individual and as someone who was actually capable of defeating Goliath. Donatello and Verrochio both portrayed David as a person who was much too young to take on someone the size of Goliath with the purpose of emphasizing the fact that God was largely responsible for the feat.

Works cited:

Crispino, Enrico. Michelangelo. (Giunti Editore, 2001)

Cunningham, Lawrence, Reich, John, & Fichner-Rathus, Lois. Culture and Values: A Survey of the Western Humanities, Volume 1.( Cengage Learning, 1 Jan 2014)

"3 Davids, 3 Theologies: Donatello, Michelangelo and Bernini," Retrieved July 6, 2014, from http://thefineartdiner.blogspot.ie/2011/06/3-davids-3-theologies-donatello.html

"David," Retrieved July 6, 2014, from… [END OF PREVIEW]

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