Michelangelo’s Sculpture “David” Essay
Michelangelo’s Sculpture “David”
David “” Analysis and Structure It is obvious that Michelangelo was meticulous when creating this sculpture. His sculpture, David, must have been done after studying the human form a great deal. The lines he has used are very natural, and though his figure is rather chiseled, the lines seem very gentle. Michelangelo has paid special attention to shape. Every ligament, muscle and bone seems as though it is alive. I especially noticed the shape of the legs, the back of the knees particularly. The muscle in the right leg (looking from the rear) is stuck out, almost as if David is about to walk. The direction seems very human and natural as well, all except for David’s hand. It seems to be cocked in a very unnatural position. The fingers on the left hand (looking from the front) are also in an odd position. The sculpture stands more than 14 feet tall and Michelangelo has done a great job keeping all extremities and the head and body in proportion to one another.
The texture that Michelangelo was able to achieve is amazing. I know from personal experience that it is often very difficult to achieve the proper texture for hair, teeth, etc. but he seems to make it look effortless as well as flawless. The hair looks very natural, but the skin is even more interesting. He has achieved an even texture, without making the skin look fake. The color of the sculpture is gray. I believe that the value throughout the sculpture is the same, although with the use of lights, this can be changed, giving the sculpture different values due to shadows. There is repetition with variation throughout the sculpture. This makes sense since most everyone has two of each limb, and many muscles.
The head seems to be the dominant point of interest for me. It fascinates me that Michelangelo could create such a realistic body, but the head requires extra care. Michelangelo paid close attention to unity. Everything seems linked. There is uniform shape to the body. The body seems as though it all joins together and the unifying link is the torso. The sculpture is made from marble, and has subtle veins of “color”.
David “” History In 1501, the city of Florence commissioned Michelangelo to sculpt a statue of David. They had adopted the Biblical figure as their city’s symbol to tell the world, and their neighbors who were constantly fighting with them, that though Florence was a small city, it was fierce and would take on any giant of an enemy who dared to challenge them.
They presented the artist with a banged up, 18 foot block of marble that had laid abandoned in a church work yard for 35 years. Undiscouraged, Michelangelo took on the project. For three years, he etched the marble, bringing forward his own unique vision of the Biblical hero, and creating the epitome of the Renaissance ideal of man in the process.
With only the strengths of his body and his beliefs, David awaits the appearance of his challenger. David’s right hand is disproportionately large to symbolize his courage and physical power. The sculpture is a tense psychological portrait of David before he kills Goliath.
The characteristics that David relies on are completely manifested in him, and in the foundation of Renaissance art and philosophy. Michelangelo has been called the father of the Renaissance because all of his art pays homage to the physical, emotional, and spiritual strengths that each human being possesses.
Michelangelo’s statue of David is now permanently installed at the Galleria Dell’ Accademia in Florence.