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Donatello's David set to return - Restoration Work Almost Over - UPDATE

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Author Topic: Donatello's David set to return - Restoration Work Almost Over - UPDATE  (Read 69 times)
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« on: November 29, 2008, 10:37:43 am »

Donatello's bronze statue of David (circa 1440s) is notable as the first unsupported standing work in bronze cast during the Renaissance period, and the first freestanding **** male sculpture made since antiquity. It created a sensation when it was first shown, due to its portrayal of the **** young male. It depicts the young David with
an enigmatic smile, posed with his foot on Goliath's severed head just after killing the giant. The youth is standing naked, apart from a laurel-topped hat and boots, bearing the sword of Goliath.

The exact date of creation is unknown, but widely disputed, and dates vary between 1430 and the more accepted 1440s.  Donatello had made a marble statue of David in 1408/1409, though this figure was a well-dressed and victorious king holding his sling, having slain the giant, Goliath's head resting between his feet.

The physical frailty and effeminate physique, which Mary McCarthy called "a transvestite's and fetishist's dream of alluring ambiguity," contrasted with the absurdly large sword by his side shows that David has conquered Goliath not by physical prowess, but through the will of God. The boy's nakedness further enhances the idea of the presence of God, contrasting the youth with the heavily-armoured giant. The fact that 'David' is standing contrapuntally suggests that Goliath did not pose a threat to him.

The statue originally belonged to Cosimo de' Medici, and was placed in the courtyard of the Palazzo Medici in Florence. After the expulsion of Piero de' Medici, it was confiscated, and ordered placed in the courtyard of the Palazzo della Signoria. It is now in the Bargello. There is a full-size plaster cast (with a broken sword) in the
Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Other subsequent noted Italian statues of David are by

Andrea del Verrocchio,

Michelangelo, and


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