The Two Davids

Michaelangelo and Bernini’s two versions of the figure of David work well to portray the differences and similarities of Renaissance and Baroque art, respectively. Both sculptures feature a large figure of David, but each displayed in a different position with unique attributes. Bernini’s “David” greatly depicts the heavy emphasis on human emotion that Michaelangelo’s Renaissance sculpture lacks, showing one of the greatest differences between the two styles of art.
Michaelangelo’s version of “David” focuses largely on the beauty of the human form, featuring David standing upright with his weight shifted to his right leg, a pose commonly used by Renaissance sculptors. Bernini’s “David”, however, greatly differs due to the strong sense of emotion present in the sculpture. Bernini depicts David in motion, as he is actively swinging his slingshot back. Bernini’s “David” also features emotion in its face while Michaelangelo’s sculpture does not. The violent nature of Bernini’s sculpture displays the nature of Baroque art, which often drew themes from religious conflict and violence. The deep level of action and emotion that exists in Bernini’s “David” and does not in Michaelangelo’s distinctly separates the two styles of art. The two sculptures display similarity between Renaissance art and Baroque art as each subject lies in the realm of classicalism, depicting the legend of David. Bernini’s “David” does also show the human form in a way that is natural and secular, as opposed to divine or disproportional.
The apparent emotionalism and presence of conflict distinctly classify Bernini’s “David” as Baroque art, and the calm but exquisite representation of the human form classifies Michaelangelo’s as Renaissance art. Thus, one can see the contrast between the theatrical and energized nature of the Baroque movement in relation to that of the Renaissance.