David, Michelangelo and Donatello
During the renaissance Michelangelo had created many magnificent pieces of art, one of which is the most well-known pieces among the world; the sculpture of David. The Michelangelo sculpture of David wasn’t the only one created during its time, for Donatello had created one some years before hand. Among the two sculptures, Michelangelo’s has a more profound, fascinating, and exceptional quality to it that contributed greatly to the Renaissance.
The High Renaissance was a period denoting the apogee of the visual arts in the Italian Renaissance during of which two artists were commissioned to sculpt a very historical figure by the name of David who threw his heroism slaed a Goliath. Donatello’s and Michelangelo sculpture of David are both remarkable pieces of art that have many similarities and differences. In my opinion, I think Michelangelo’s statue of David overall is relaxed pose, but the tension of the statue is held in the face of David.
Paying close attention to the statue’s face, one would notice his eye brows are in a downward narrow position. This would indicate to the viewer that there is more behind in the statue than just a casual pose. Also Michelangelo demonstrates a profound knowledge of the human anatomy. As I stated before, the detailed intensity of the eyes and eyebrows and the focus it brings to the face. His eyes are in a keen state focusing on an impending battle; furthermore the face is filled with confidence and aggression. Standing in a relaxed state and, he’s naked but Michel depicted David as a hero.
These similarities and differences in the sculptures represent the artists themselves, the Florentine people, as well as the governing body of Florence. The poses, stances, and features of each piece shows different aspects and characteristics of what the society of the time embodied. Donatello sculpture was commissioned during a time where change was unacceptable, and certain guide lines had to be followed this leads me to wonder. Had Donatello been given the freedom to sculpt what his heart desired, would we have a complete different piece of art?
Michelangelo had been commissioned to sculpt David some 30 years later by this time you have an artist that is will to push the limitation. Donatello’s sculpture was built in 1469; it celebrates a victory form the Hebrew Bible over the giant Goliath. Donatello portrays David as life size freestanding male towering over the head of the goliath representing a classical tradition. This was the first sculpture of its time to be completely nude. Donatello only dresses David in a hat and boots leaving some clothing and ‘nothing left to the imagination’.
The sculpture’s appearance is almost womanlike, fragile, with lavish hair a man that is young, full with vitality, strength, and determination. A man that is content with himself as he casually stands above the head proving to all his willingness and success to overcome tyranny. The hat and sandals are added to dignify the statue, yet the boots remind me of a sheared that would normally guide people. Michelangelo represents David before his triumph over goliath sublimely and confident, ready to take on whatever challenge faced him.
As the people of Florence were now ready to take on the world without Medici, As another self-supporting statue of a theological hero, this statue was made to be gigantic. The figure was over 17 feet tall sculpted out of marble the boyish looking man towers over the people with confidence. Portrayed like a god, the nudity and the contrapposto stance are all biased of the Ancient Greek. This sculptor represents the humanism in pristine condition, strong and healthy with compelling beauty and grace.
Michelangelo sculpted a David before the battle with Goliath, because this statue was a way to portray a new light for the people of Florence. In this statue David is holding a fruit this represent a sense of integrity and intellect a calmer way to look at things. The similarities between the two David’s are that both are nude, both portray strengths and each one hold the contrapposto stance. The one of the differences between the two Davids is in the eyes Michelangelo’s David has very detailed eyes there looking forward as if to see with an open heart what might be coming next the eyes seem almost embracing and intimidating.
Michelangelo seems to represents David in his prime In my opinion the best work of art came from Michelangelo because of the amount of detail that was put into it. They did show humanism in their work. Humanism was not a religion but more of a life philosophy. They focused more on their accomplishments and skills rather than their position in society. They were all men of accomplishment. Humanism is also used to refer to the style they used in their art. Before them, most art appeared flat and two dimensional.
With the influence of humanism, these artists focused more on detail and bringing out the illusion of space, form, and dimension. They were among the first to use perspective. So to sum up, they showed humanism in their careers and their artwork. Leonardo— Mona Lisa, The Vitruvian Man, Battle of Anghiari, The Last Supper, Madonna of the Carnation Michelangelo— David, The Creation of Adam, Rome Pieta, Conversion of Saint Paul Donatello— David, Agony in the Garden, St John the Evangelist, Gattamelata
The form of classical sculpture became fluid and natural and the stylization of the archaic art gave way to realistic figures which emanated the illusion of moving through space. For the first time in human history, human anatomy was deemed worthy of being immortalized in stone or bronze, and the humble and laborious forward step of the kouros statues was replaced by poses that commanded their space with effortless movement. Michelangelo depicted David before his battle with Goliath. Davis is tense, but not so much in a physical as in a mental sense. See the stiffness of the sculptures before Renaissance 9link below), and the flui