Michelangelo vs. Bernini in David

8 August 2016

Michelangelo’s David is completed by 1504 and Bernini’s David is completed in 1623 which is more than a century later. 1). Michelangelo’s David comes from High Renaissance and Antiquated background. Bernini’s David comes from Italian Baroque background. 2). Michelangelo’s David is nude and about 17’ in height and Bernini’s David is life size with a robe on. 3). Michelangelo’s David presents a moment before the battle. His facial expression shows intense focus of the future event that he would be engaged into. He is thinking about his strategy against Goliath. Michelangelo’s work represents an intellectual David.

Bernini’s David presents the second before he launches the stone from his sling, which kills Goliath. His facial expression is full of energy and determination. His body twists to one side and is ready to launch the stone at Goliath. This is a more mature David with a body full of strong muscles that is completely engaged in the action. The sculpture broke new ground in its implied movement and its psychological intensity. Bernini’s work represents a more physical David. 4). Michelangelo created his David with a perfect human form which attracted viewers to follow the lines and texture from the head to his legs.

Viewers enjoy observing the sculpture for its fine tone details in David’s intense face, tilted head, flexing arms and strong legs. Bernini created David to draw viewer’s attention to the movement. The lines and texture are not as detailed and smooth as Michelangelo’s David is, but he utilized the surrounding space to draw viewers’ eyes to the movement of the arms, hands, legs and make viewers feel as if they are at the scene of the battle. Michelangelo and Bernini are both extraordinary artists who created the same David with dramatically different sculptures, which represented their eras and set standards throughout history.

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