Essay Comparing the Three Statues of David

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Comparing the Three Statues of David

The pieces of art I will be comparing and contrasting are the three statues of David, by Donatello (Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi), Michelangelo (Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni), and Bernini (Gian Lorenzo Bernini). The statues are modeled after the biblical David, who was destined to become the second king of Israel. Also most famously known as the slayer of the Philistine giant Goliath with a stone and a sling. The sculptures are all based on the same biblical hero, but differ from one another. Each David is unique in its own certain way.

A good deal is known about Donatello's life and career, but little is known about his character. Donatello was born in Florence, Italy in 1386
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After defeating Goliath, whose head lies at David's feet, he rests his sword by his side. It seems almost impossible that such a young boy as David could have accomplished such a task. The look portrayed on David himself too seems doubtful of the deed, as he glances down towards Goliath?s head at his feet.

Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475, at Caprese, in Tuscany and died February 18th, 1564. The second sculpture is of Michelangelo?s David, 1501-1504. Its material is marble, it stands 13' 5" and is currently located at the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence. Michelangelo's David is based on the artistic discipline of disegno. It is said that under this discipline, sculpture is considered to be the finest form of art because of how it mimics divine creation. Michelangelo worked under the premise that the image of David was already in the block of marble he was working on, in much the same way that the human soul is thought to be found within the physical body (Michelangelo's David). Unlike the David of Donatello, Michelangelo's David is not shown after conquering his enemy. Instead, he is portrayed as an extremely athletic and manly character; the sculpture even depicts a worried look cast upon David?s face and the carved marble veins seem to pulse with anticipation as he contemplates the upcoming fight. Cast over David?s shoulder is his sling, and the stone is
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