The Bargello, Florence Italy

marble, 1408-09 (reworked 1416)

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Front view

This is an early work intended for a buttress of the Duomo. Like Michelangelo's later David, it resonates with political symbolism. David became a symbol of the Florentine Republic in conflict with more powerful enemies, yet favored by God. Although this work is in marble, Donatello worked in bronze, relief, and even wood.


The head of David

Donatello is often interested in the psychology of his figures. Neither the stance nor the face of David conveys a sense of pride in his victory. He wears a crown of leaves, connecting him with the heroes of antiquity.


The head of Goliath

Donatello is often interested in textures. Goliath's hair and beard contrasts with the smooth, young face of David. David's right hand originally held a bronze slingshot. The marble portion with the stone is embedded in Goliath's forehead.

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© 1999 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

Page created by Mary Ann Sullivan