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David by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

74,95235,00 (Inc. Tax)

Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Baroque masterpiece captures the biblical hero David in the moment before he slings a stone at the towering Goliath, the Philistines’ champion who threatened King Saul’s Israelite army. The sculpture depicts David with his dropped armor, donated by the sovereign, and a harp that ends in an eagle’s head, showcasing the celebratory intent of the Borghese family who commissioned the artwork.

Interestingly, the sculpture’s back is unfinished as it was originally meant to lean against the wall of Sala del Vaso. Bernini, known as one of the most important sculptors of the Baroque era, demonstrates his masterful ability to manipulate stone into the likeness of flesh and fabric in this work.

Compared to Michelangelo’s David, made over a century prior, Bernini’s sculpture is more dynamic, capturing the energy of the moment where David is about to fire the slingshot at Goliath. In contrast, Michelangelo’s David is more stoic, staring down the giant with a poised and tense demeanor.

Bernini skillfully activates the space around the stone, using powerful diagonal lines and curves to draw the viewer’s eye. This creates a sense of movement and brings the sculpture to life, making it easy to forget that the artwork is made of stone.

The Baroque period was a time when the Catholic Church utilized art to affirm and strengthen the faith of believers. This philosophy was a core belief of the Counter-Reformation of the Council of Trent, which emphasized the didactic nature of art and its ability to teach and deepen one’s faith.

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