David During the Renaissance Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Renaissance Art

When discussing with regard to the Old Testament figure of David and to how he was represented during the Renaissance, one would have to consider the current as a whole in order to gain a more complex understanding of why artists directed their attention toward the character. Artists during the Renaissance were determined to restructure social values for the masses to be able to acknowledge the significance of classical values. David had been a symbol of the classical era and artists in the Renaissance wanted to create works that glorified both him and the idea of the natural man in general.

It was probably David's legendary character that influenced artists to express particular interest in wanting to portray him. By looking at how each artist depicted him, one can understand the cultural elements that inspired these respective artists. All things considered, it would be safe to say that particular artists shaped each-other's perception of the character. These people inspired each-other and adopted ideas they identified with David. As a consequence, many of the most impressive portrayals of the King are similar, taking into account how artists borrowed ideas from others and contributed by introducing their personal perception of David.

David was a particularly intriguing character in Florence during the Renaissance, as individuals in the city loved the idea of a seemingly powerless character defeating someone who was believed by most to be unbeatable. The people of Florence had come across much hardship in the city's history as foreign invaders attempted to conquer it in a series of occasions. However, a diverse set of factors made it possible for Florence to stand strong in the face of its enemies and inspired many to associate it with the biblical figure of David. The Medici family was the most powerful group in the state and came to consider that David had been a symbol of their community as well as of Florence's. Many of the biblical hero's portrayals had been commissioned by them, with Donatello's David being likely to have been created with the purpose of being displayed in the palace courtyard of the Medici family in Florence. In spite of the city's size, the Medici family wanted to make it seem strong and thus used the figure of David as a means to transpose their opinion of the inhabitance.

Many people are likely to consider Michelangelo's David when thinking about the Renaissance and to the Old Testament character. However, Michelangelo's was just a version (surely, the most famous one) of David, as there are several other Renaissance artists who used David as inspiration for their works. "The three statues of David by Donatello, Michelangelo and Bernini, historically represent the beginning, height and end of the Italian Renaissance, as well as three very different views on man's interaction with God." (3 Davids, 3 Theologies: Donatello, Michelangelo and Bernini)

Donatello's portrayal of David is certainly one of the most impressive works in the history of art. Although the bronze version is the most common work that one is likely to come across when relating to Donatello's David, the Italian artist had experimented with sculpting David since his youth. The artist's Marble David stands as proof with regard to how Donatello felt attracted to this particular character and to how he dedicated an important part of his life to trying to portray him.

Donatello's bronze David was created between 1430 and 1440 and is shown in a way that would influence most viewers to feel the pride in the hero's mind as a result of having defeated Goliath. The character is carrying Goliath's sword and holds his foot on the giant's head, thus putting across the sentiment of accomplishment -- he managed to defeat Goliath and is now feeling overconfident with his position. This is an individual who acknowledged his power and is unhesitant about letting the whole world know about his feat.

At the time when the statue of first revealed, one of the most confusing things about Donatello's bronze David was the fact that it was portrayed in a feminine way. The hero's appearance is likely to be in disagreement with how most people would expect it to look. "David has a slim, almost adolescent look, rather than appearing to be a man with great strength." (The…

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