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David by Michelangelo, Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence

David by Michelangelo, Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence

David is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created between 1501 and 1504, by the Italian artist Michelangelo. It is a 5.17-metre (17.0 ft) marble statue of a standing male nude. The statue represents the Biblical hero David, a favoured subject in the art of Florence. Originally commissioned as one of a series of statues of prophets to be positioned along the roofline of the east end of Florence Cathedral, the statue was instead placed in a public square, outside the Palazzo della Signoria, the seat of civic government in Florence, where it was unveiled on 8 September 1504. The statue was moved to the Accademia Gallery in Florence in 1873, and a replica was placed in the Piazza della Signoria in 1910.

Michelangelo's David differs from previous representations of the subject in that the Biblical hero is not depicted with the head of the slain Goliath, as he is in Donatello's and Verrocchio's statues. Most scholars consider that the work depicts David just before his battle with Goliath. Instead of appearing victorious over a foe much larger than he, David's face looks tense and ready for battle. The tendons in his neck bulge, showing his stiff posture; perhaps a sign that he is intensely waiting for battle. The muscles between his upper lip and nose are tight; his eyebrows have been carved so that David looks like he is in deep concentration which lead to and his eyes that seem to be concentrating on something not in the room, but instead on something past the viewer. Veins bulge out of his lowered right hand, but his body is in a relaxed contrapposto pose, and he carries his sling that he has placed over his left shoulder.



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