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66. Bernini's David: Dynamism, Strength and Determination

Updated: Mar 21, 2020

By - Giulio D'Ercole

Today, I would like to share a bit more information about Bernini's David sculpture in the Borghese Museum in Rome.

Bernini was the 4th great artist to face the making of such a famous biblical figure during the Renaissance. In fact before him Donatello (c.1440s), Verrocchio (1473-1475) and Michelangelo (1501-1504) engaged with this work, giving to the legendary hero their own different view, aesthetics and style.

What makes Bernini's piece of art absolutely unique is the dynamism of the figure, the way the body turns as a spring ready to explode in the act of throwing the stone against Goliath, the strength of his muscles and the determination of his facial expression showing his will to defeat the giant. All these elements position David as a living figure, moving and interacting with the surrounding environment, making us see what is not there: Goliath and the crowd around them.

Such choice of giving the sculpture an internal movement is one of Bernini's characteristics and peculiarities... and that is exactly what art and genius are made of: the ability to transcend tradition and, still drawing on it, creating new revolutionary visions.

At the same time artists are geniuses that living in the society are able to fully understand others' ideas and intuitions, and being inspired by them materialize those creative concepts in phenomenal works.

Bernini's David might well be one of those cases, considering that Gian Lorenzo could have been influenced by Leonardo da Vinci' s writing on how to portray a throwing figure:

If you represent him beginning the motion, then the inner side of the outstretched foot will be in line with the chest, and will bring the opposite shoulder over the foot on which his weight rests. That is: the right foot will be under his weight, and the left shoulder will be above the tip of the right foot. — Leonardo da Vinci, Treatise on Painting

So, if you want to photograph such art and beauty in your own creative way, let me guide you through the Borghese Museum during our photography tour .

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