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The statue appears to show David after he has made the decision to fight Goliath but before the battle has actually taken place, a moment between conscious choice and action – fight and flight. His brow is drawn, his neck tense, and the veins bulge out of his lowered right hand. His left hand holds a sling that is draped over his shoulder and down to his right hand, which holds a rock.  The twist of his body effectively conveys to the viewer the feeling that he is in motion, an impression heightened with contrapposto. The statue is a Renaissance interpretation of a common ancient Greek theme of the standing heroic male nude. In the High Renaissance, contrapposto poses were thought of as a distinctive feature of antique sculpture. This is typified in David, as the figure stands with one leg holding its full weight and the other leg forward. This classic pose causes the figure’s hips and shoulders to rest at opposing angles, giving a slight s-curve to the entire torso. The contrapposto is emphasized by the turn of the head to the left, and by the contrasting positions of the arms.
David was originally commissioned as one of a series of statues of prophets to be positioned along the roofline of the east end of Florence Cathedral, but was instead placed in a public square, outside the Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of civic government in Florence, in the Piazza della Signoria, where it was unveiled on 8 September 1504. The statue was moved to the Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence, in 1873, and later replaced at the original location by a replica.
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Michelangelo’s first large-scale sculpture Bacchus is, alongside Pietà, one of just two sculptures that survived from his first days in Rome, and one of the few works the artist created focusing on pagan, rather than Christian, subjects. The statue – which depicts the Roman god of wine in a drunken, lolling stance – was originally commissioned by Cardinal Raffaele Riario but was eventually rejected by him; by the early 16th century, though, it found a home in the garden of banker Jacopo Galli’s Roman palace. Since 1871, Bacchus has resided at Florence’s Museo Nazionale del Bargello, and is displayed alongside other works by the master including his Brutus bust and his unfinished sculpture, David-Apollo.
Quite possibly the world’s most famous sculpture, Michelangelo’s David was sculpted over the course of three years, beginning when the artist was just 26 years old. Unlike many earlier depictions of the biblical hero which portray David triumphant after his battle with Goliath, Michelangelo was the first artist to show him in a tense, alert position prior to his legendary fight. Originally positioned at Florence’s Piazza della Signoria in 1504, the 14-foot sculpture was moved to Galleria dell’Accademia in 1873 where it remains today, displayed under a skylight specially designed for the work by 19th-century Italian architect Emilio de Fabris.
Moses (1515) – Michelangelo