Michelangelo and Donatello S David

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Look at the formal features and stylistic qualities of two works of art each by a different artist.

The two works of art I am going to focus on are both sculptures that depict the biblical figure of David. One of them is by Donatello and the other by Michelangelo. Donatello’s “David” is an Italian early renaissance sculpture that was commissioned in the 1440’s and stands 158cm high which is life sized. It depicts a young David after he has slain Goliath this can be seen by the fact that buy his feet is Goliaths head. He is a modest youthful nude (except from his laurel-topped hat and boots) and has a contrapposto pose. The sculpture is made from bronze using the lost wax process. Michelangelo’s depiction of the heroic figure of David is a high renaissance piece commissioned by Pope Julius II and took 3 years to complete from (1501 – 1504.) This sculpture is 17ft high and made entirely out of one block of pure white marble using the carving method. Unlike Donatello’s depiction this “David” shows the hero before the battle and he looks arrogant and fearless. Like Donatello’s depiction “David” is nude. In this sculpture we can see a clear understanding of the artists understanding of anatomy due to the detail of the veins and muscles that Michelangelo has carved. Formally both of these sculptures are single standing male nudes with the same contrapposto pose. Where Donatello’s sculpture is life size Michelangelo’s is very much larger and certainly not life size. Whereas Donatello’s sculpture also has extra elements such as the hat and boots Michelangelo’s does not. Michelangelo’s “David” is manly, heroic and monumental and is depicted in this way whereas Donatello’s looks young, modest and gracious. Stylistically, both are influenced by classic iniquity and both have the realism that was popular in the renaissance period. Donatello’s sculpture of the biblical figure of David is one that includes decorative qualities such as the embellishments...
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