David by Gianlorenzo Bernini

Topics: David, Goliath, Saul Pages: 3 (726 words) Published: October 8, 2005

What can be seen in the artwork?

The sculpture shows us the biblical character, David, who slew Goliath. We can see David holding the sling which he will use to kill Goliath. Below David is his cuirass (medieval body armor that covers the chest and back) which was given to him by King Saul before the encounter with Goliath. Also present below him is a harp whose tip is shaped like that of an eagle, a symbolic reference to the Borghese family. Bernini conceived and carved his statue of David in seven months, a remarkable achievement in itself.

Looking deeper into the artwork:

One fact of Bernini's great genius should be pointed out. Almost all statues which preceded his stood self contained, insulated, apart from the spectator. . Bernini causes the viewer to become a part of his David statue. He who looks at this giant slayer senses Goliath standing behind and above his shoulder. The viewer is almost prompted to move from the path of the projectile. The space in front of the statue becomes a part of the concept. David stands above his cast-off harp and armor. He grimaces with determination. The features are those of the twenty-four year old Bernini whose patron, Cardinal Barberinik, held a mirror while the youthful sculptor made a face and carved it. The immense tension of the twisted body conveys the force that David is ready to release. His muscular foot grips the base of the statue to withstand the body tension. The action has reached that moment when the stone is ready to be released. It is a marvel of dramatic action frozen in stone.

How does the idea of the sculpture relate and apply to life?

The sculpture clearly portrays and reaffirms the simple lessons learned in the story of King David vs. Goliath. One of them, "Nothing is impossible with God". It suggests the capability and ability of one person to do what he desires unlimited because of the presence of God. God can work miracles if you just let Him into your life....
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