Author: Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (Tuscany, Italy, 6 March 1475 – Rome, Italy, 18 February 1564)
Genre: Marble sculpture
Movement: Italian Renaissance
Dimension: 517 cm × 199 cm (height x width)
Location: Galleria dell’Accademia (Florence, Italy)
Its appeal lies in both science and art!
For examining Michelangelo’s glorious depiction, David, we are in the heart of the Florance where you can define the renaissance soul.
Michelangelo was a man with an uncertain temper and explosive tendencies, emotional intensity, or to put it differently; we can use the Italian world “terribilità.”
Once Pope Leo X has said:
“Michelangelo is impossible, and one cannot deal with him.”
The surest way to push his buttons was to call him a painter. Instead, he considered himself a sculptor. Besides, he was even signing his letters “Michelangelo Buonarroti, Sculptor.”
Therefore, he went into one of his huffs again when people confused the two crafts. It seemed to him sculpture was not only his true calling but also the highest form of art.
Feel the warm breeze of the Mediterranean lands! We are heading to the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze. Then, we entered the enormous room, Tribuna del David (David’s Grand Gallery).
We could not help but mesmerize by what we saw!
Once we notice the intriguing sculpture, we gravitate towards it. At first glance, this artwork surrounded by loads of people may seem striking. People have always admired it, and the admiration will last forever. Many will keep flocking to Florance to view this renaissance man!
Let’s take a closer look at this Renaissance masterpiece!
What we look at here is the shepherd boy, who sizes up the goliaths and looks thoughtful and self-assured. He seems to be thinking, I can take him.
The original David is at the centerpiece of the Accademia Gallery. However, it was never intended to be seen inside the museum. Instead, it should have been placed outside the Cathedral of Florence, 40 feet above the street level.
It was commissioned to decorate the cathedral. Therefore, besides being visible for every corner, it had to be enormous. The exact height of David is 517 cm.
DID MICHELANGELO DO ANATOMY?
Michelangelo’s David is anatomically correct, and it is the result of intense anatomy studies. It was a merging of art and science! For instance, Michelangelo dissected human corpses to understand anatomy thoroughly.
Michelangelo had a life-long curiosity in anatomy that began with his participation in public dissections in his early teens. By the age of 18, he began to perform his autopsies.
WHY DID MICHELANGELO MAKE DAVID?
An abandoned marble has carved by Michelangelo!
Michelangelo got an excellent reputation with The Pietà but unfortunately, only in Rome. Upon returning to Florence in 1501, he felt an obligation to establish himself all over again. He encountered an opportunity to meet his target.
There was a narrow, enormous block of marble that had been standing in the courtyard of the Florence cathedral since 1463. He’s got a commission to complete a sculpture from that block, which earlier artists had worked and abandoned because of troubles with the stone. Michelangelo found a way to accommodate the block’s shallow depth. He carved that abandoned marble, and the final product won over the reserved Florentines. Undeniable Brilliance!
THE STORY OF DAVID AND GOLIATH
The biblical figure of David meant real virtue to the Florentine People. But, unfortunately, the bible says that David was a young shepherd, and the Philistines were attacking his people.
So none of the warriors were willing to go up against a giant of a man Goliath. However, this young shepherd was unhesitant to defend. So he takes off his armor and goes into battle by picking up a sling and a stone.
He places the stone in the slingshot. Finally, he hits Goliath between the eyes, the giant falls, and David cuts off his head with his massive sword. It is a story of good overcoming evil through God’s favor.
The David statue was an apt symbol. It was inspiring Florentines to tackle their Goliaths. In those times, The florentine government defeats two tyrants. They first beat the Medici Family and then Savonarola. Therefore Florence’s people identified themselves with David as an underdog who could win their enemy with God’s favor.
WHY IS MICHELANGELO’S DAVID SO FAMOUS?
Michelangelo’s David is so famous because his David is the best way to know the juxtaposition truly! As far as I can tell, this artwork is so famous also because it is a unique example of being simultaneously delicate and deadly.
Juxtaposition means the act of putting two or more things that are not similar to each other side-by-side or close together. For example, artists often juxtapose specific features to compare or contrast the elements or show similarities and differences by attracting viewers’ attention.
WHAT DOES JUXTAPOSITON MEAN?
The juxtaposition may take shape, variations in mark-making, contrasting colors, or representations of actual objects. For example, you may see an artist use vigorous mark-making, which they used to create different patterns, lines, textures, and shapes. And after, you can notice an area of firm detail against something handled more softly.
David by Michelangelo is in an effeminate contrapposto. It is an Italian term meaning “counterpose” “o describe a lifelike, asymmetrical pose, a stance with whole body weight on one foot when the other leg relaxed.
WHAT IS DAVID HOLDING IN HIS LEFT HAND?
When you look at David, his limp wrist casually holds a slingshot that conveys a feminine vulnerability. Yet, David’s eyes widened a fierce determination, his veins swelling in anticipation of killing Goliath.
And in conclusion, David is the bold juxtaposition of opposing principles!
DAVID BY MICHELANGELO IS SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL
For many, the David is the most beautiful sculpture ever made and symbolizes the perfect ideal of male beauty.
It seems to me that this artwork remains as elusive as ever, even though we all know the end of the story.
David defeats Goliath.
Florence defeats its enemies.
Here we finish by examining David, a reflection of a biblical figure and spectacular example of the juxtaposition. Michelangelo’s David awaits your visit. He deserves praise for all his hard work. Letting you with his quotes;
” If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all!”Michelangelo
Last but not least, if you are intrigued by art, we will have a blast seeing you here. I hope every art-related thing will find you; see you in our following review 🙂