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Florence and the David Statues

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The city of Florence has gone through many invaders, illnesses and many other deaths not related to the battlefield. They had survived it all they believed that they had God on their side and have always come out on top, much like the biblical story of David in battle against Goliath. This influenced Florence to take on David as their symbol and used it to portray the success of Florence. Many artists have created sculptures portraying works of David. It has been depicting it in so many different manners, that there is at least one surviving example from each major art periods. Although there are many we will only be focusing on two works of David. First is Donatello’s classically inspired youthful boy depiction of David, and the second is Bernini’s heroic warrior. The Medici family was the most powerful political family of Florence. They saw themselves as being the reason for Florence’s supremacy and wanted to used Florence’s symbol of David as their own. The Medici were aware of Donatello’s earlier sculpture of David in Florence’s town hall and commissioned Donatello to create them their own sculpture of David. Donatello’s bronze sculpture of David possesses both the relaxed contrapposto and the nude beauty of the Classical period and the style of the Greeks. He was the first Renaissance sculptor to portray nude male figure. “In the Middle Ages, the clergy regarded nude statues as both indecent and idolatrous, and nudity in general appeared only rarely in art”
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