David - Baroque vs Renaissance

Topics: Renaissance, David, Goliath Pages: 3 (981 words) Published: April 20, 2004
When I first began comparing the two different statues of David, Bernini's Baroque "David, and "Michelangelo's Renaissance "David" the first thing that came to my attention was the facial features. As you study the face of Michelangelo's "David" there is a sense of calmness to it. There is little or no emotion depicted in his face whatsoever. Here is a man, ready to face a giant with nothing more than a sling, a stone, and his faith in God, yet there is no emotion on his face. No signs of fear, anger, trepidation, determination, nothing. It is nothing but an emotionless stare as if he knows what it is he must do and is content in fulfilling that task.

As you study the face of Bernini's "David" however, there is a much different scene. You can see within his face a look of sheer determination and anger. His eyes are set with all of the rage in his body seemingly crunched up into his brow. The snarl of his closed and pursed lips demand attention as if they are telling Goliath of his fate as if he had foreseen it in a dream. Pure hatred pours out of every feature on his face. His cheeks are tense and muscular as if he is gritting his teeth, his nose flares with every breath and even his hair seems as if it is poised for the strike.

Moving on past the heads of the sculptures the next thing I took notice of was the positioning of the arms, his sling, and the stone. On Michelangelo's statue, David's right hand hangs somewhat relaxed at his side holding the lethal stone while his left hand rests lazily on his shoulder, concealing the sling, a weapon that was traditionally used by shepherds during that time, he holds within his grasp as if he were showing that the victory David will soon achieve is more of a mental victory than a physical one. He has tricked Goliath proving that brains are better than brawn. Bernini's statue, on the other hand, is holding the sling, already loaded with the deadly missile, and is poised and ready to strike.

The body positions of...
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