Face of David

Face of David


David is one of the most magnificent Renaissance sculptures created in the first half of the 1500s. Famous Italian artist Michelangelo produced this well-known piece of artwork. It is a marble statue of the biblical character David that is 5.17 meters tall. The most popular subject in Renaissance art, especially in Florence, was also this young man.

face of david ring and the face of david statue

Between 1501 and 1504, this amazing Renaissance artwork was produced. It is a 14.0-foot-tall marble statue of the Biblical figure David, shown as a naked person standing. It was originally intended to be one of a number of enormous sculptures to be positioned in the niches of the cathedral's tribunes, high up at around 80 meters above the ground. It was commissioned by the Opera del Duomo for the Cathedral of Florence. The Board's consuls requested Michelangelo to finish a task that had been started by Agostino di Duccio in 1464 and continued by Antonio Rossellino in 1475. A massive slab of marble was ultimately rejected by both sculptors because it included too many "taroli," or flaws, which may have jeopardized the stability of such a massive statue. Due to this, this large slab of marble that was lying in the courtyard of the Opera del Duomo for 25 years was ignored.

In 1501, Michelangelo was only 26 years old, but he was already the most well-known and well-paid artist of his time. He eagerly embraced the task to create a massive sculpture. One of David's most magnificent works of art was crafted out of shining white marble after he and his team labored nonstop for more than two years. The sculpture was originally intended as among the statues of prophets that were positioned at the roofline of the eastern section of the Florence. Furthermore, it was placed in the public square at Palazzo della Signoria, which was the center of Florence’s civic government. Because of the courageous nature of this biblical hero, it eventually became the symbol of defense of the civil liberties depicted in the Florentine Republic.

image of face of david statue made by micahel angelo

The artwork differs significantly from earlier statues created by other well-known artists like Verrocchio and Donatello. The young David is shown in Michelangelo's painting David before he engages in combat with the powerful Goliath. As a result, rather than exuding victory over his foe, the figure's attitude suggested that he was getting ready for combat. The artwork of Michelangelo is his version of the common Ancient Greek motif of a valiant biblical figure. It displays the contrapposto stance, which is a defining characteristic of old sculptures. The courageous David maintains a rigid stance while supporting his entire body weight with one leg. His shoulders and hips lie at an angle that is opposite as a result. David is also wearing a sling on his back and has his head turned to the left. With all of these characteristics, the sculpture is viewed by many as a representation of human vigor and youth.

 In comparison to the artist's contemporaneous artists of that time, the statue is likewise fairly enormous. In fact, most art historians view the statue as miraculous since Michelangelo was able to resurrect a famous person who had already passed away. Despite the fact that many enormous sculptures have been produced throughout history, Michelangelo's David is still regarded as one of the best and most stunning.

image of face of david statue

The hands and head, in particular, seemed to be rather enormous in comparison to the rest of the statue's features, which is also crucial to observe. But since the statue was meant to be placed on the cathedral's roofline, the artist did this on purpose. He therefore needed to figure out how to highlight specific features so that they would be noticeable when viewed from below.

In relation to its height, this figure looks to be relatively slim from the front to the back. Scholars speculate that this can be due to the preparation work done on the block before the craftsman began carving it. Additionally, before he decided to start on the statue, it was thought of as a political symbol.

Evidently, David has long been the preferred political image throughout Florence, as several artworks that featured the biblical hero were commissioned in most of the significant locations in the city. 


  David is portrayed in a different pose in Michelangelo's version than in earlier Renaissance works. No earlier Florentine artist had completely left out the giant; however, the bronze statues by Donatello and Verrocchio depicted the hero triumphantly standing over the head of Goliath, and the painter Andrea del Castagno had depicted the boy in mid-swing while Goliath's head rested between his feet. Most academics agree that David is shown before his fight with Goliath. When David decides to take on Goliath, but before the fight actually starts, he appears nervous and prepared for war rather than triumphant over a much greater opponent. His veins protrude from his dropped right hand, his forehead is furrowed, and his neck is tensed. His right hand, which is holding the sling's handle, is held by a sling that is slung over his shoulder by his left hand.I Samuel 17:38–39, which tells the narrative of David, is reflected in the nudity. Saul then outfitted David with his armor, placing a brass helmet on his head and giving him a coat of mail. David then attempted to leave after girding his sword around his armor because he still hadn't proved it. I cannot go with these since I have not proven them, David told Saul. And David turned them away. 


face of david ring

His body's twist successfully creates the idea that he is about to move by giving the viewer the sense that he is moving. The statue is a Renaissance version of an archetypal ancient Greek figure of the heroic male standing naked. Contrapposto positions were regarded in the High Renaissance as a distinguishing element of classical sculpture, first appearing in the Doryphoros of Polykleitos (c. 440 BC). David is a good example of this because the figure is standing with one leg supporting the entire weight and the other leg extended. 

 Michelangelo employs the exodeviation of David as a creative technique. When approaching the statue from the left, the observer notices that its left eye is cleverly focused on the enormous Goliath, peering towards (and above) him. The right eye is concealed by the sling at this position, so it cannot be seen in its entirety. The left eye vanishes but the right eye is still discernible if one rounds to the right of the statue while standing to the right. When carving out the eyes, Michelangelo had to take into account the viewer's location as well as all angles. David would be throwing the stone to his left, therefore the left eye would automatically concentrate its look in that direction in accordance with the body's intended movement. When viewed from the right side, the right eye and the rest of the body perfectly embody the traits of strength, cunning, and intelligence that the statue's creators intended it to represent.

In conclusion, Michelangelo's David has become one of the most recognized works of Renaissance sculpture; a symbol of strength and youthful beauty. Michelangelo's contemporaries were astounded by the statue's sheer magnitude alone. Vasari concluded that Michelangelo's work was superior to "all ancient and modern statues, whether Greek or Latin, that have ever existed" after describing it as "certainly a miracle that of Michelangelo, to restore to life one who was dead," and listing all of the largest and grandest ancient statues he had ever seen.



Comelli, Daniela, et al. "Fluorescence lifetime imaging and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of Michelangelo's David." Applied spectroscopy 59.9 (2005): 1174-1181.


Fastellini, G., et al. "Michelangelo’s David: Historical images for the preservation of a masterpiece." Proceedings of the CIPA 2005 XX International Symposium, Torino, Italy. Vol. 27. 2005.


Hirst, Michael. "Michelangelo in Florence:'David'in 1503 and'Hercules' in 1506." The Burlington Magazine 142.1169 (2000): 487-492.


Levine, Saul. "The Location of Michelangelo's David: The Meeting of January 25, 1504." The Art Bulletin 56.1 (1974): 31-49.


Shaikh, Saad, and James Leonard-Amodeo. "The deviating eyes of Michelangelo's David." Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 98.2 (2005): 75-76.

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