Sample Essay on David in Early Renaissance


David in Early Renaissance

It has been established that David was a popular figure in the Italian art history and so in the early renaissance Florence had adopted him as a type of symbol. In a piece of art by Donatello on of the Italian renaissance sculptors, composed a bronze statue of David between the period 1430 and 1440, it has been asserted that this nude representation of David is one of the important arts in the western culture (Hartt and David 40). From the bible it is well known that David triumphed against Goliath by killing him with a slingshot of stone and cutting his head off, it is believed that after killing Goliath he posed with one foot atop of Goliath’s body. The artist has implied this in his sculpture composition, in this piece of art David wears nothing but boots and a shepherd’s hat with laurel leaves on top of it, which may allude to his victory against Goliath. In addition, nudity was unacceptable but for this art nudity is not an issue as he is portrayed to be young, in fact, it appears that Donatello is trying to associate David’s youth with an innocent and virtuous life. He is portraying that David was so young that he could not kill Goliath using his own power but God’s power.


David in High Renaissance

In this case an artist, Michelangelo composed David in the high renaissance period between 1501 and 1504. It has been established that David is carved from a single block of marble that was eighteen feet tall to demonstrate how artists at the time of classical Greece sculpturing composed art and moreover, in this artwork the artist has distorted the proportion to produce the human body of David (Hartt and David 52).  It is evident that the head and hands are large since he knew that the sculpture would be installed on the reinforcement of the Florence Cathedral and he desired a viewer to be able to see the head of his composition from far below since the artwork expression carries the narrative content.  It has been established that the theme of the art is the biblical victory of David against Goliath; this was a common theme in the Italian Renaissance and in contrast to the early renaissance Michelangelo deliberately portrays him before the fight with Goliath (Hartt and David 53).  In this artwork David’s appearance render an individual tensed and prepared to attack in contrast with the initial portrayal of looking tranquil and self-assured after triumph.

David in Baroque

It has been established that the subject of David was common in the Baroque style of art and the artist rendered the theme differently and in the art composition by Gianlorenzo Bernini, he has emphasized drama in a more idealized and classic feeling (Hartt and David 58). The artwork was composed in the movement period of between 1623 and 1624 on a marble sculpturing. In this period Bernini portrays a more beautiful and strong David that is different from the adolescent portrayed in the early and high renaissance period. He portrayed David as being excited when winding back with all the strength in the process of hurling a slingshot stone to Goliath. Visual analysts have asserted that the artist has given a sense of time with a split second moment with high energy. It is evident that the statue breaks into the space of the viewers and charming while exciting them.

Baroque style

It has been established that Counter-Reformation was a historical stage that was characterized by the establishment of the assembly of Trent, it started around 1545 and ended after 30 years (Hartt and David 60). This reorganization comprised training of priests in the mystical life and major artworks were expected to depict devout themes. Bernini is one notable artist whose artworks came up due to major Catholic religion reformations, the reforms demanded that artists capture the attentions of their audience in the most natural way while portraying religious themes.

In his artwork Saint Teresa he portrays the Saint’s overwhelming sense of spiritual pleasure in serving Christ by using imagery to reveal the sensual pleasure of manifestations of the Saint’s love for God and her desire for spiritual union with him. Visual analysts have described that this artwork was consistent with the aims of the Catholic Counter-Reformation art campaign, which sought to convey the secrecies of Catholicism as lucidly as possible.

In David’s artwork, Bernini has also conveyed a religious theme, in fact, it is established that Counter-Reformation by the Catholic religion wanted to reaffirm its power and attract more followers to the faith. It is believed that in the light of this assertion that the church sought for Bernini to captivate the attention, stimulate the senses and elevates the emotion of their devotees. This piece of art portrays a mature David on a marble, it is believed that it is more direct to the point, more emotional and its course relates to the embattled position of the Catholic Church, which felt as though it needed to appeal directly to the faithful and believers through portraying biblical stories and powers of God.

Work cited

Hartt, Frederick, and David G. Wilkins. History of Italian Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture,

            Architecture. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2011. Print.