Michelangelo's David

Michelangelo’s David is one of the most recognizable high renaissance sculptures ever produced, renowned for its youthful beauty and pleasing aesthetics. 

The piece was commissioned by The Florence Cathedral that wished to have 12 statues from the Old Testament adorn its terraces. The great Donatello himself was a part of this endeavor, having contributed a terracotta statue of Joshua. 

Carved entirely out of marble, it was Agostino di Duccio who first began work on the piece before Antonio Rossellino took over. The sculpture then remained untouched for two decades before a young Michelangelo convinced cathedral authorities to let him complete it. 

When Michelangelo finished the piece two years later, it was discovered to be too heavy to hoist upon the cathedral, so a committee was formed to decide on its placement. After careful deliberation, the piece was installed at the entrance to the town hall - Palazzo Vecchio. 

In 1873, David was moved to the Accademia Gallery where he remains to this day.

About Michelangelo

Michelangelo (1475 to 1564) was an Italian sculptor and painter from the republic of Florence. His works are fortunate to have been documented heavily making him one of the most recognized artists of all time. His works have had a great influence over western art, and his studies and sculptures have paved the way for many artists that followed him.



Narrative Several artists have recreated David from a scene after his battle with Goliath, with the underdog standing tall over the giant's severed head. Michelangelo instead portrayed him before the battle which is reflected in the tenseness and rigidity of his pose.

Symbolism  The figure came to represent the stalwart defense of the independent city state of Florence, which was surrounded on all sides by rival factions and held in the grasp of the Medici family.


Movement David is portrayed as standing still and lacks the frenetic movement of other sculptures of him, such as the one created by Bernini. Granted the style encapsulates renaissance art but the baroque style gives sculptures vitality and vigor more befitting of the mythological figure.

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