Bernini's David

Bernini’s David
Lacey G. Nicholas
Art 101: Art Appreciation
Professor Bianca Perkins
February 20, 2011

Bernini’s David
The representation of Bernini’s David was like no other.   He made it of marble, but he made the marble look flexible.   “Bernini’s sculpture is expansive and theatrical, and the element of time usually plays an important role in it” (Kleiner, 2010, p. 531).   It differs from Donatello, Michelangelo, and Verrocchio, and mirrors the Counter-Reformation efforts of the Catholic Church.
First, it differs from Donatello, Michelangelo, and Verrocchio because they depicted “David after his triumph over Goliath” (Kleiner, 2010, p. 531).   However, “Bernini chose to depict the combat itself” (Kleiner, 2010, p. 531).   “Bernini’s statue of David has a picture-like quality supported by photographic procedures that gives it life-like qualities” (Kenseth, 1981, p.192).   Unlike his predecessors, “he aimed to catch the split-second of maximum action” (Kleiner, 2010, p.531).   The bag of stones, at David’s left hip, suggest that the battle would be long and tough.   “He also selected the most dramatic of an implied sequence of poses, so that the viewer has to think simultaneously of the continuum imparts a dynamic quality to the statue that conveys a bursting forth of the energy seen confined in Michelangelo’s figures” (Kleiner, 2010, p. 531).   “Donatello, Michelangelo, and Verrocchio’s David could not stand alone; it had to be propped next to a wall” (Haitovsky, 1985, p.174).  
Additionally, Bernini’s David seems to be moving through time and through space.   For example, "the sculpture cannot be inscribed in a cylinder or confined in a niche” (Kleiner, 2010, p. 531).   The dynamic action demands space around it.   It also directs attention beyond it to the unseen Goliath.   As a viewer, we are tempted to duck.   It is the anticipation of violent action that heightens this confrontation as David’s latent power is momentarily arrested.   “Bernini’s sculpted...