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Tim CondonArt 100Research Paper  Gianlorenzo Bernini was born on December 7th, 1598 and died on November 28th, 1680. Bernini’s David is a historical piece of marble art that dates back to 1623-1624. This 170cm sculpture shows great emotion and engages the viewers in action. Bernini’s David could possibly be mistaken as a major league pitcher throwing a 95 mile an hour fastball. He gathers all his strength for each one of his pitches and puts all his effort into it. Some may not know exactly, but the emotion in Davids face tells a whole different story. The one issue viewers have with this sculpture of this man is that they don’t know the full meaning as to why he’s pulling a rope with a stone from behind him. The sculpture of Bernini’s David couldn’t be where it is today without the Medici family. The Medici family was a very wealthy and powerful that were the first Florentine art patrons to commission David.  Bernini creates an emotional, historical,  and cultural man that is commissioned by a historical patron with an ideal purpose. The Old Testament hero David became the first popular subject  in Italian art during the early Renaissance because of Florence.  Florence had been a major center for trading  and finance, although it was noticeably small compared to city states like Milan or Rome. So the city then adopted David, the man who killed the giant Goliath and became a major symbol of the city. The creation of David all started with Donatello’s bronze David. Donatello’s David reflects a revival of the ancient Greeks and Romans.  Donatello’s marble David portrays an older David with a full set of clothes and he looks warrior like. He looks like this to show that Florence was willing to fight for its freedom. Donatello’s bronze David was the first nude David in The Renaissance. He is nude and wearing a shepherds hat and sandals. Another sculpture made for the Medici was Verrocchio’s,,realist David.  In this specific David, Verrocchio decided to portray David by wearing a leather doublet instead of being nude. According to the Bible, Saul (the King of the Israelites) actually gave David a bronze coat and helmet to protect him when he volunteered  to fight  against the Philistine giant.  As David put the armor on, he discovered that it was too heavy for him and he could barely move, so he simply removed the armor. Many sculptures portray David as nude, where this one actually tells a story and explains that he took him armor off which left him nude.  This is possibly validating  Goliath’s proclamation that “I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals” since his flesh was easy access to injure him. Seven years after the expulsion of  the Medici family, the Florence Cathedral building committee had requested that Michelangelo would use a block of marble to create another sculpture of David.  It was originally going to be placed on the cathedral’s roof, but its size was to big and was forced to be placed somewhere else. It was then  placed outside of the Florence city hall which was called “Palazzo Vecchio”. Michelangelo portrays David as strong and large at over 14 feet tall. Michelangelo had chosen  a time  before the battle with Goliath. Michelangelo wanted to have a true representation of the biblical story. Since Michelangelo didn’t really know what the style of the sling was, he just put the sling over his left shoulder and out of view. In turning David’s head to the side, it makes the viewers look in the same direction to think and understand why he is looking over there.Even though Donatello, Verrochio, and Michelangelo all made different works on the same subject, all their works tie together to the styles of the Renaissance. Although, Bernini has been one of the greatest artists during the Baroque period.  Baroque artists made emotion more energetic and more apparent. The Baroque style coincides with the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church has used art as a symbol of power for quite some time. Bernini’s David has less in common than any other David so far. Bernini’s work was only for his patron, which had been Cardinal Scipione Borghese instead of a work of Florence. Bernini received the commission to make the sculpture of David from Cardinal Scipione Borghese. His sculpture was going to be used to decorate his patrons villa. Bernini had been working on the Apollo and Daphne sculpture at the time and knew if he accepted the commission, then he would finish his present sculpture. Bernini then  studied the Bible passages between David and Goliath. As time passed, he decided to accept the commission to create the sculpture of David. While Donatello and Michelangelo make their David sculptures based on beauty, Bernini wanted to show emotion, energy, and action. Rather than creating David for a calming disposition, Bernini created a piece that would cause people to  experience what David was feeling. The tension shown in the sculpture of David is meant to create an emotional response to help the viewer understand David’s facial and body expressions. Bernini’s David easily accomplishes the goal of the Baroque artists, patrons, and manages to create a miniature world around the work to create a feeling as it can be found in a real one. Instead of choosing a victorious David, Bernini chose the moment with the most energy and action so he could stay in the Baroque style.  David has his feet spread apart with a rock in his sling and has a look of pure determination.  He is basically nude besides the piece of cloth and he wear  the pouch for pebbles in his sling  and the armor he cast off because of the weight. The only thing David is missing from the story in the Bible is the shepherds staff.  As I looked at the sculpture, Bernini’s David has a harp at his feet. The harp symbolizes the time when he played he harp to soothe the Kings soul. The symbols of the armor, the harp, and the sling indicate the turning points of David’s life. It represents the harpist to the slayer of Goliath. Then it represents the leader of the armies and king. Bernini actually added himself to his work more than any of the other sculptures of  Davids. The life sized David statue actually displays Bernini’s face. In 1624, Bernini completed his detailed carving of the biblical David after just seven months.   Bernini’s assistant actually had to hold up a mirror for multiple days just so Bernini could create this self portrait sculpture. As you look at the sculpture, you can see a face of determination and anger. His eyes are set with pure rage and the snarling look of his closed lips help with the determination of showing Goliath his fate. His nostrils flare and it looks as if he is biting his teeth to express his true anger. Another emotional part of this sculpture is the body movement. The body movement really expresses David’s goal, it shows his overall purpose in the sculpture. His whole body and facial features have a muscular look to it and this way it helps reveal  the overall anger towards Goliath. The Medici family were the first to commission David, David is a piece of history that has spread and been placed around the world. David has has been more popular over time starting with Donatello, to Verrochio, then to Michelangelo. As Donatello and Michelangelo tried to present beauty  in their sculptures of David,  Bernini actually tried to create emotion. He created a piece that let viewers experience what David was actually feeling.  After discovering how important David is, I can see why Bernini decided to create something different. Bernini creates an emotional, historical,  and cultural man that is commissioned by a historical patron with an ideal purpose. 

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