Sunday seems like a good day for a Biblical, art history lesson. David, the shepherd boy, later crowned king, was armed only with a slingshot when he met, and slayed the horrible huge Philistine giant, Goliath. It has been the subject of many paintings and sculptures through the years. I would like to show you the two most famous Davids and introduce you to the artists who created them. Michelangelo di Lodovico is known simply as Michelangelo and the other is Gian Lorenzo Bernini who is also know by his last name. Both artists are celebrated “rock stars” in their places in art history.
Michelangelo, a Florentine artist , prominent painter, and sculptor of the high Renaissance in the 16th century, created this David. He chose to depict the instant when David first turns his head to see Goliath in all his miserable splendor. Michelangelo’s Renaissance style of idealism emphasizes his great admiration and awe to detail of the human body. The original David is on display at the Galleria dell’Academia in Florence , and a copy stands in the Piazza della Signoria in the original site for the statue. The original has been moved inside to protect it from the weather.
Michelangelo actually did dissection work on cadres to learn exactly how the body worked.
Bernini, the first of the Italian Baroque style of the arts, created his work in Rome.He chose the dramatic instant after David had chosen a stone from his shepherd’s pouch, and was warming up for his strike with a powerful spiraling move.
Bernini is credited with more closely following the Biblical story with his use of the pouch. His elaborate detail and movement are excellent examples of the realism emphasized by the Baroque of the 17th century.
Bernini’s David is on display at the Villa Borghese in Rome where it was designed to stand and has for the last 400 years.
Interesting fact is that both artists created these masterpieces at the beginning of their careers, being prodigies at only 25 years of age.
The flawless, white marble for each of these statutes came from the mountains north of Rome in Carrrara of North Tuscany. We have driven up through these mountains right to the mines where the marble is being excavated. Italians have no OSHA!
Lastly, another similarity is that these 2 pieces of memorable sculpture were created in Italy by Italian artists. To me, that is not a coincidence but an expectation. I have traveled extensively, and in my mind, without a doubt, the Italians arts have more appeal with creativity, originality, and beauty than I have seen anywhere else! I encourage a discussion with others who might disagree!
Namaste. . . . . ..This Is Italia!