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65. David: Marble becomes Biblical Life in Action

Updated: Mar 21, 2020

By - Giulio D'Ercole

"When the Philistine [Goliath] arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground."

The photo here below shows David as he's just about to throw the stone, with the focus exactly on that one simple weapon that killed Goliath. The stone, together with David's courage and determination, is the core of the story, therefore it deserves all the attention that a photographer can give to it. That's why I lay down on the floor to take the picture.

This amazing sculpture, that brings beautiful, pure hard marble to life in action, was commissioned to Gian Lorenzo Bernini by Cardinal Scipione Borghese to decorate his villa. The artist needed only seven months, between 1623 and 1624, to complete his statue. Though, this is not the only masterpiece we can admire in the Borghese Museum: in fact Cardinal Borghese commissioned several works to Bernini starting from 1618, two of them being The rape of Proserpina and Apollo and Daphne (of which I will talk in other future blogs) . It has to be absolutely well noted that the artist did all these life-size marble works before being 26 years of age, and that the cooperation with his patron, Cardinal Borghese ended only because Bernini's friend and protector Maffeo Barberini was elected pope, as Pope Urban VIII, and basically monopolized his genius.

All these wonderful masterpieces, together with many others from Canova, Caravaggio and other many great Italian Renaissance artists, can be seen in the Borghese Museum, which we can visit during our photography tour .

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