Michelangelo s David

Topics: Centuries, Sculpture, 2nd millennium Pages: 8 (2027 words) Published: March 1, 2015
Considered one of his masterpieces, the David was created by Michelangelo in Florence between 1501 and 1504. It is made of marble, measuring 5.17 meters tall. It depicts a male nude figure that represents David, a biblical hero. Traditionally, David was portrayed after his victorious triumph over Goliath. Looking back at both Verrochio’s and Donatello’s Davids, the sculpture was depicted standing over Goliath’s severed head. However, Michelangelo depicted David before the battle. Michelangelo’s David will become one of the most beautiful and ideal sculptures during the Renaissance. I think one of the reasons why Michelangelo’s David became so famous was because of the way it stood. David is the perfect example of contrapposto. If you examine the sculpture of David, you can see that the body is placing all of its weight onto the right leg, while the left leg stays relaxed. This causes the body’s hips and shoulders to rest at opposite angles, giving it a slight s-curve to the entire torso. The way the body is positioned gives it a natural and almost human stance. Thus, contrapposto was considered the perfect pose for the human figure and is continued to be widely employed in sculpture. If you examine David, you can see a slingshot in the left hand and a rock in the right hand. The way that the rock and slingshot looks almost hidden can mean that the battle between David and Goliath was won more cunningly and skillfully than with absolute power. David seems to be tense, but more in a mental sense than a physical sense. Much of the body is still relaxed, but you can see that his right hand is beginning to tense. David’s eyes are concentrated on something to his left and his body looks like it’s about to follow his head’s movement, which can mean that David has just caught sight of his enemy and his body is beginning to tense up. The sculpture seems to be depicted right before combat. By placing Michelangelo’s statue in the courtyard of the Palazzo della Signoria, it became the symbol of the republic of Florence in opposition to the notion of tyranny. This was a very particular moment in Florentine history because the Medici at the time assumed a great amount of power and undermined the Republican ideals of the city. From Prehistory through the 21st century, sculpture has been largely monumental. Sculpture began in the Stone Age. The earliest Stone Age sculpture emerged in the form of ivory carvings of animals, birds, and therianthropic figures. Other early sculptures were made of materials such as mammoth bone, ceramic clay and bone ash, as well as various types of stones. Egyptian sculptures were based on the belief of life after death. Statues of the rulers, the nobles, and the gods were carved in slate, alabaster, and limestone and placed inside temples and burial chambers. Egyptians believed that the spirits of dead people would come back to these statues. They used sculptures in the round and in the relief when creating seated and standing statues. The Egyptians would show those who were in power by making their sculptures larger than those who had little or no power. Mesopotamia, also known as the “land between the rivers” lacked the stones that the Egyptians used to create sculptures. Instead, the earliest sculptures in this region were formed by baked and unbaked clay, combinations of woods, shells, and gold leaf. In 10th century B.C., Assyrians, who were the conquerors of this region, depicted scenes of hunts, battles, and rituals on stones that were placed inside their palaces. In the center of Mesopotamia lies Babylon and they used brightly colored tiles in their relief sculptures. Only a few sculptures have been found from the Minoan civilization. Located on the island of Crete, the Minoan created sculptures using ivory and terracotta. There have been little traces of large free standing sculptures that have been found, but there are many examples of smaller sculptures. Some include small statues of snake...
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