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The Statue of David: A Masterpiece of Italian Renaissance Sculpture


A Masterpiece of Italian Renaissance Sculpture

The Statue of David is a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance sculpture created by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504
Statue of David Head

The Statue of David is a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance sculpture created by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504. Originally commissioned as one of a series of statues of prophets to be positioned along the roofline of the east end of Florence Cathedral, the statue was instead placed in the public square in front of the Palazzo della Signoria, the seat of civic government in Florence, where it was unveiled on 8 September 1504.


A Colossal Marble Statue

With a height of 5.17 metres (17 ft 0 in), the David was the first colossal marble statue created in the early modern period following classical antiquity, setting a precedent for the 16th century and beyond. The biblical figure David was a favored subject in the art of Florence, and because of the nature of the figure it represented, the statue soon came to symbolize the defense of civil liberties embodied in the Republic of Florence.


The History of the Statue of David

The history of the statue begins before Michelangelo’s work on it from 1501 to 1504. The Cathedral’s Overseers of the Office of Works, known as the Operai del Duomo, was a 12-member committee that organized competitions, chose the best entries, commissioned the prevailing artists, and paid for the finished work. Consisting mostly of members of the influential woolen cloth guild, the Arte della Lana, it had plans to commission a series of twelve large sculptures for the buttresses of the cathedral prior to Michelangelo’s involvement.

In 1873, the statue was moved to the Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence, and in 1910 replaced at the original location by a replica.


Michelangelo: A Master Artist

painter, architect, and poet who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. He is considered one of the greatest artists of all time.
Statue of David Full body

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564) was an Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, and poet who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. He is considered one of the greatest artists of all time. One interesting fact about Michelangelo is that he first rose to prominence after a failed attempt at art fraud. In 1496, Michelangelo made a sleeping cupid figure and treated it with acidic earth to make it seem ancient. He then sold it to a dealer, Baldassare del Milanese, who in turn sold it to Cardinal Riario of San Giorgio. Riario later heard rumors of the scam and got his money back, but he was so impressed by Michelangelo’s skill that he invited him to Rome for a meeting. The young sculptor would linger in the Eternal City for the next several years, eventually winning a commission to carve the Pieta, the work that first made his name as an artist




Bring Art into Your Space

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