Statue Of David Essay, Research Paper
Awe inspiring is the only way to describe Michelangelos statue of David. Probably the most recognized sculpture in the world, it was created during thethree year period between the years 1501 and 1504. During this period in timeEurope was going through the Renaissance. The word Renaissance literallymeans rebirth. During this period in history new interest was sparked in theclassical forms of Greek and Roman sculpture.
David, from the biblical story of the Old Testament David and Goliath,was recreated by Michelangelo in the sculpture for the city ofFlorence becauseit was the city s patron saint.. The statue of David was meant to be placed inthe Florence cathedral after its creation, were it would then be placed on abuttress, 40 feet above eye level.
The full name of the genius Michelangelo was Michelangelo di LodovicoBuonarroti Simoni. He was born on Mach 6, 1475, in Caprese in the upperreaches of the Tiber valley. His father was Ludovico Buonarroti Simoni and his mother was Francesca di Neri of Miniato del Sera. As a baby Michelangelo waswet nursed by the wife of a stonecutter. When he became older he would sayhe had the milk of a stone cutter in his veins. At the age of thirteen he was hired
as an apprentice painter in the workshop of Ghirladaio. Michelangelo also atthis time frequented the Medici Gardens of San Marco and had the protection ofLorenzo the magnificent, who treated him as a friend.
After Lorenzo the Magnificents death in 1492, Michelangelo left theMedici establishment. He was brought back to the Medici establishment by Lorenzo s successor, but in October, 1494 he suddenly left for Venice. From Venice he went to Bologna. Michelangelo then returned to Florence sometime
between the end of 1495 and the beginning of 1496. In the month of June in 1496, Michelangelo went to Rome at the invitation of Cardinal Riario. On
August 16, 1501 he returned to Florence, and received a commission from the Office of Works of Santa Maria del Fiore for the sculpture of David. For the remainder of his life, Michelangelo continued to move back and forth from Florence to Rome. Although he spent most of his adult life in Rome, Michelangelo always had a deep attachment for Florence, its art and its culture throughout his long life.
On Friday, February 18, 1964, at the hour of the Ave Maria,
Michelangelo died in his home in Macel de Corvi in Rome. He was buried near the Church of the Santi Apostoli. His nephew Lionard, secretly removed his body and transferred it to Florence. Michelangelos remains were then buried in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence. On July 14 of that same year a memorial service for Michelangelo was held in Florence in the presence of the members of all the Academies of Art. Benedetto Varchi gave the memorial speech.
The community of Florence, Italy, from which the sculpture of David emerged was very small and beautiful. The city was frequently under attack by the supporters of the usurped Medicis. The size of the city of Florence was small, but the people of the city refused to be ruled over or conquered. They felt
similar to the young man David from the biblical story of David and Goliath who. eventually , became the cities patron saint, and ultimately the subject of Michelangelos masterpiece.
In the story of David and Goliath, the Philistines and the Israelites were going to fight a war, but instead they agreed to settle their dispute by having their strongest warriors fight against each other. The people whose warior won would rule over the people whose warior lost. Goliath, whom was the Philistines champion, was a giant. He was over nine feet tall and wore armor that weighed 125 pounds. He also carried a sword, spear, javelin and a shield. David whom was the only person brave enough to face Goliath, was a young shepherd. The only weapons he carried with him to fight Goliath where five smooth stones he found in a stream and a sling. As David and Goliath were approaching each other in battle, David slung a stone that struck Goliath in his forehead , killing him instantly. Goliath then fell face down to the ground. In this story, David and
Goliath, David is looked upon as the underdog in the battle, but yet he still managed to triumph over his mighty enemy. This is the reason why the city of Florence related with him and felt similar to him.
After standing in the cathedral for only a few days, the people of Florence demanded that the statue of David be moved to another location. They wanted it to be placed in a location were everyone could easily see it and admire it. They did not like the idea of it being confounded in the cathedral. Because of this, the
statue was placed in the Piazza Della Signoria, the Florentine town hall were it had stood until the nineteenth century when it was moved to the Galleria dell Academia which is also in Florence. A replica of the statue is now placed in the Piazza Della Signoria.
The tool that was used for sculpting the statue of David was a claw chisel, the most advanced sculpting tool available during this period in time The statue as sculpted out of a shallow fourteen foot block of marble. The block of marble had already been hacked by other sculptures and had laid for thirty five years in the cathedral work yard waiting for a sculpture who had the skill to shape it into
a work of art.
With the chisel and marble block, Michelangelo sculpted David not as asmall brave boy who had killed Goliath to everyone s surprise, but as a strong,powerful, young man at the peak of physical strength and perfection who is ready to go forth and conquer the giant.
David is divide symmetrically from between his legs to his head. He was sculpted with oversized arms, hands and head. He also has for his body short legs for his body size. David was never meant to be seen at eye level. This is the reason why his body was designed so unpropotional. From the forty foot high buttress were he was originally meant to be placed he would look perfectly proportional.
The statue of David is in a rectangular frame. David is standing in a closed pose. The surface of the statue is very round and smooth .
The sculpture is of David during his moment of truth. It can be comparedto as the calm before the storm. David a young shepherd boy with his slingshot in hand is facing the mighty giant Goliath, whom is dressed in armor holding his fancy weaponry. David is at the moment where he pauses before he attacks, Which is evident in the retension of his limbs. He is at the moment in which he is no longer a boy, but a man. With only his primitive weapons, he faces Goliath fearless of anything including death because he knows that with his
determination and courage he will be victorious, which is seen in the fiercity of his facial expression.. David looks both beautiful and powerful.
David s huge arms and hands can be interpreted as a symbol of his great strength. He like the city of Florence was small but mighty. They are both beautiful and powerful. They are in a sense the same. They both faced impossible odds and they both managed to triumph in the end. That is why David was the perfect representation of Florence. Just by looking at the sculpture a person can feel the sense of power and dignity Michelangelo had in mind while he was creating it.