The famous David by Donatello is a highlight among the queer masterpieces of the museum. It was created by the Florentine sculptor in 1440 and represents a young David in a feminine pose, resting after the killing of the giant Goliath who is seen as beheaded and positioned between his legs.
The work is the first entirely male nude of the Renaissance and represents an androgynous boy in a suggestive and sensual form. If we observe the sculpture from behind, we cannot ascertain whether it's a man or a woman, appearing rather as non-binary.
David seems to be a tribute to the homosexual culture of the Florentine Renaissance and, undoubtedly, the context in which it was executed greatly influenced its reception and his artistic fortune. In those years, Florence was considered the cradle of the "sodomitic vice", so much so that Dominican and Franciscan preachers hurled attacks from their pulpits against what was considered both a crime and a sin. However, despite their disapproval, numerous Florentine workshop masters took inspiration from beautiful and ephebic young people, who they often used as models.
According to some sources, Donatello himself was a lover of male beauty, to the point that he chose boys for his workshop based on their physical appearance rather than skills, and to make sure that no one took them away from him, he painted fake sores and buboes on their bodies.