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Donatello’s David


The elegant bronze sculpture is located at the Bargello Museum in Florence

Donatello's David or Mercury is a bronze sculpture preserved at the Bargello National Museum in Florence.

It is one of the sculptor's most famous works, created by the artist around 1440.
Compared to his earlier works, which were characterized by a Classical heroism that seemed to definitively mark the path of Renaissance sculpture, here Donatello surprisingly returns to formal solutions closer to Gothic than to Renaissance style.

Donatello's David
Donatello's David - Credit: Patrick A. Rodgers

David is depicted in a decidedly prissy posture, far removed, for example, from the muscular and characterful strength depicted in the statue of St. George. The arching of the body, also due to the imbalance given by the presence of Goliath's head under one of the feet, seems to follow Gothic art's preference for flexed and sinuous positions.

The work is thus presented with an unprecedented mixture of Gothic and Renaissance stylistic choices, and for this very reason it turns out to be one of Donatello's most sought-after and elegant works, which here achieves a beauty that is often, in his other works, sacrificed to tragic.

Musei del Bargello
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