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Donatello Vs Michelangelo Analysis

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Dueling Visions of David: Donatello vs Michelangelo Name: Ayushi Gupta Id Number: 00067794 Page Break Dueling Vision of David: Donatello vs Michelangelo Two of Florence’s most celebrated sculptors Donatello and Michelangelo interpreted the same story of David in the two most novel and unusual way. Background Biblical story of David Political importance of David in Florence Donatello’s David Physical traits Height Material Process Visual description Interpretation and analysis What moment in history does the sculpture represent? Inference of expressions Why is the sculpture more feminine and ambiguous? Michelangelo’s David Physical traits Height Material Process Visual description Interpretation and analysis…show more content…
Completed by 1440, this sculpture was a deviation from any contemporary figurative piece, being the first life-size nude created since antiquity (Schneider, 1973, p. 213). In addition, Donatello applied a very different method of construction, where he first modeled his figure in clay and then had it cast in bronze. This was technically very difficult, assuming its size to be approximately six feet. Donatello's David (see Figure 1) portrays David unclad, except for a hat and boots, standing triumphantly over the head of the slain Goliath in a contrapposto pose. Such pose refers to the asymmetrical arrangement of the line of the arms and shoulders while balancing the hips and legs, suggesting relaxation with the subtle internal organic movement that denotes life. His expressions, especially the enigmatic smile, evinces an arrogant and egoistic outlook. It is of paramount importance to note that the story of David advocates masculinity and strength, but this piece accentuates a female anatomical pose with its positioning, otherwise known as lordosis. It provides an "abnormally increased inward curvature to the lower region of the spine resulting in a concave back as viewed from the side"(); also his legs are considerably wider than that of the male nude. Furthermore, the sheen bronze adds to the overtone…show more content…
223). Conventionally, David was depicted after his triumph, victorious over the slain Goliath; however, he chose to depict David before the battle. Carved out of a single block of marble from the quarries in Carrara in Tuscany, this statue stands fourteen feet tall (Brucker, 1998, p. 223). It stands relaxed, yet attentive, resting on the antique contrapposto pose. The slingshot he carries over his shoulder is almost invisible, emphasizing that David’s victory was one of mental strength, not physical. Moreover, Michelangelo's David (see Figure 2) exhibits a tense stance with his brow furrowed, the tendons in his neck taut and his eyes focused on something in the distance. In addition, veins are visible in his arms as he clutches the stones with one hand and the slingshot in the other. Furthermore, the figure has an abnormally disproportionate head and a dramatic right hand, possibly because they were deemed more visually important for viewers. It is also possible that in order to underline David's concentration and pondered action, Michelangelo intentionally overproportioned the head and the right hand (Brucker, 1998, p. 223). On the surface, Michelangelo's David is indeed a High Renaissance interpretation of the standing heroic male
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