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Sculptures

David's Sculptur.

David's Sculptur. 

Artist: Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598 - 1680)
Galleria Borghese, Rome
Italy
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 Demetrius Chryssikos
Demetrius Chryssikos club
David is a life-size marble sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The sculpture was one of many commissions to decorate the villa of Bernini's patron Cardinal Scipione Borghese – where it still resides today, as part of the Galleria Borghese. It was completed in the course of seven months from 1623 to 1624.
The subject of the work is the biblical David, about to throw the stone that will bring down Goliath, which will allow David to behead him. Compared to earlier works on the same theme (notably the David of Michelangelo), the sculpture broke new ground in its implied movement and its psychological intensity.
Between 1618 and 1625 Bernini was commissioned to undertake various sculptural work for the villa of one of his patrons, Cardinal Scipione Borghese. In 1623 – only yet 24 years old – he was working on the sculpture of Apollo and Daphne, when, for unknown reasons, he abandoned this project to start work on the David. According to records of payment, Bernini had started on the sculpture by mid–1623, and his contemporary biographer, Filippo Baldinucci, states that he finished it in seven months.
David was Scipione Borghese's last commission for Bernini. Even before it was finished, Bernini's friend and protector Maffeo Barberini was elected pope, as Pope Urban VIII.
The sculpture shows a scene from the Old Testament First Book of Samuel. The Israelites are at war with the Philistines whose champion, Goliath, has challenged the Israelite army
to settle the conflict by single combat. The young shepherd David has just taken up the challenge, and is about to slay Goliath with a stone from his sling. When the Philistine [Goliath] arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.
David's clothing is typical of shepherd's attire. At his feet lies the armour of Israel's King, Saul, given to David for battle. The armor was shed, as David was unaccustomed to it and he can fight better without. At his feet is his harp, often included as an iconographic device of David in reference to David the Psalmist and being a talented harpist.
The biblical David was a popular subject among Renaissance artists and had been treated by sculptors such as Donatello (c.1440s), Verrocchio (1473-1475) and Michelangelo (1501-1504). Bernini's David, though engaging with these works, differed from them in some significant ways.
For one thing, the sculpture is no longer self-contained, but interacts with the space around it. Not since the sculptures of the Hellenistic period, such as the Winged Victory of Samothrace, had sculptures been involved in their surroundings like those of Bernini.
A likely source for Bernini's figure was the Hellenistic Borghese Gladiator. The motion of the gladiator preparing to attack is similar to how David is swinging his sling. Another difference lies in the moment that Bernini has chosen to depict. Michelangelo's David differs from those of Donatello and Verrocchio in that it shows David preparing for the battle, rather than victorious afterwards. Bernini, on the other hand, chose to portray David in the act of throwing the stone. This represented a novelty; throwing figures were extremely rare in post-Antiquity sculptures. The motion motif did exist in painting, however, and one example was Annibale Carracci's fresco of the Cyclops Polyphemus throwing a stone. Bernini is likely to have known Carracci's Polyphemus; not only was it to be found in the Galleria Farnese in Rome, but Carracci was the painter Bernini ranked as fourth among
the greatest ever.
Bernini may also have been familiar with the writings of Leonardo da Vinci on the subject. Da Vinci, in his Treatise on Painting, deals with exactly the question of how to portray a throwing figure. It is possible that Bernini applies this theory to his David:
If you represent him beginning the motion, then the inner side of the outstretched foot will be in line with the chest, and will bring the opposite shoulder over the foot on which his weight rests. That is: the right foot will be under his weight, and the left shoulder will be above
the tip of the right foot.
Another potential candidate as inspiration for Bernini's David is the celebrated 5th century BC Discobolus by Myron. However, the problem with this theory is that the Discobolus was in the early 17th century only known from literary sources; the torsos of copies that had survived were not correctly identified until 1781. Both Quintilian and Lucian wrote of
the statue, but the descriptions were of a figure stretching or flexing, rather than being
in the act of throwing.
The Baroque saw significant changes in the art of sculpture; Bernini was at the forefront of this. The statues of the Renaissance masters had been strictly frontal, dictating the spectator to view it from one side, and one side only. Bernini's David is a three-dimensional work that needs space around it and challenges the viewer to walk around it, in order to contemplate its changing nature depending on the angle from which it is seen.
The sculpture relates to an unseen entity – in the form of Goliath, the object of David's aggression – as well as to the spectator, caught in the middle of the conflict. The warrior even literally oversteps the boundaries between life and art, putting his toes over the edge of the plinth. The conventions of time, as well as space, were challenged. Instead of the serene constancy of, for example, Michelangelo's David, Bernini has chosen to capture a fraction of time in the course of a continuous movement. Thus the latent energy that permeates Michelangelo's David is here in the process of being unleashed.
On an emotional level, Bernini's sculptures were revolutionary for exploring a variety of extreme mental states, such as the anger seen here. David's face, frowning and biting his lower lip, is contorted in concentrated aggression. Baldinucci tells an anecdote of how Barberini would hold a mirror up to Bernini's face so the artist could model the sculpture on himself. This bears witness to Bernini's working methods, as well as to the close relationship he enjoyed with the future pope.
In addition to attempts at realism, David also followed contemporary conventions about how a military figure should be portrayed. As Albrecht Dürer previously had postulated, the vir bellicosus—the "bellicose man"—was best represented with the rather extreme proportions of a 1:10 head-to-body ratio. Furthermore, the warrior has a facies leonina, or the face of a lion, characterized by a receding forehead, protruding eyebrows, and a curved nose
(David was later to become the "Lion of Judah").
8 weeks ago. Edited 7 weeks ago.
 Armando Taborda
Armando Taborda club
Superbe!
8 weeks ago.
Demetrius Chryssikos club has replied to Armando Taborda club
Thank you very much Armando !!! Best regards !!!
8 weeks ago.
 Demetrius Chryssikos
Demetrius Chryssikos club
Gian Lorenzo (or Gianlorenzo) Bernini (/bɛərˈniːni/, also US: /bərˈ-/, Italian: [ˈdʒan loˈrɛntso berˈniːni]; also Giovanni Lorenzo; 7 December 1598 – 28 November 1680) was an Italian sculptor and architect. While a major figure in the world of architecture, he was, also and even more prominently, the leading sculptor of his age, credited with creating the Baroque style of sculpture. As one scholar has commented, "What Shakespeare is to drama, Bernini may be to sculpture: the first pan-European sculptor whose name is instantaneously identifiable with a particular manner and vision, and whose influence was inordinately powerful...." In addition, he was a painter (mostly small canvases in oil) and a man of the theater: he wrote, directed and acted in plays (mostly Carnival satires), for which he designed stage sets and theatrical machinery. He produced designs as well for a wide variety of decorative art objects including lamps, tables, mirrors, and even coaches.
As an architect and city planner, he designed secular buildings, churches, chapels, and public squares, as well as massive works combining both architecture and sculpture, especially elaborate public fountains and funerary monuments and a whole series of temporary structures (in stucco and wood) for funerals and festivals. His broad technical versatility, boundless compositional inventiveness and sheer skill in manipulating marble ensured that he would be considered a worthy successor of Michelangelo, far outshining other sculptors of his generation. His talent extended beyond the confines of sculpture to a consideration of the setting in which it would be situated; his ability to synthesize sculpture, painting, and architecture into a coherent conceptual and visual whole has been termed by the late art historian Irving Lavin the "unity of the visual arts".
Bernini was born in Naples in 1598 to Angelica Galante and Mannerist sculptor Pietro Bernini, originally from Florence. He was the sixth of their thirteen children. Gian Lorenzo Bernini was the definition of childhood genius. He was "recognized as a prodigy when he was only eight years old, [and] he was consistently encouraged by his father, Pietro. His precocity earned him the admiration and favor of powerful patrons who hailed him as 'the Michelangelo of his century'”. In 1606 his father received a papal commission (to contribute a marble relief in the Cappella Paolina of Santa Maria Maggiore) and so moved from Naples to Rome, taking his entire family with him and continuing in earnest the training of his son Gian Lorenzo. Several extant works, dating from circa 1615-1620, are by general scholarly consensus, collaborative efforts by both father and son: they include the Faun Teased by Putti (c. 1615, Metropolitan Museum, NYC), Boy with a Dragon (c. 1616-17, Getty Museum, Los Angeles), the Aldobrandini Four Seasons (c. 1620, private collection), and the recently discovered Bust of the Savior (1615–16, New York, private collection). Sometime after the arrival of the Bernini family in Rome, word about the great talent of the boy Gian Lorenzo got around and he soon caught the attention of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew to the reigning pope, Paul V, who spoke of the boy genius to his uncle. Bernini was therefore presented before Pope Paul V, curious to see if the stories about Gian Lorenzo's talent were true. The boy improvised a sketch of Saint Paul for the marveling pope, and this was the beginning of the pope’s attention on this young talent.
Once he was brought to Rome, he rarely left its walls, except (much against his will) for a five-month stay in Paris in the service of King Louis XIV and brief trips to nearby towns (including Civitavecchia, Tivoli and Castelgandolfo), mostly for work-related reasons. Rome was Bernini’s city: “'You are made for Rome,’ said Pope Urban VIII to him, 'and Rome for you'”. It was in this world of 17th-century Rome and the international religious-political power which resided there that Bernini created his greatest works. Bernini's works are therefore often characterized as perfect expressions of the spirit of the assertive, triumphal but self-defensive Counter Reformation Roman Catholic Church. Certainly Bernini was a man of his times and deeply religious (at least later in life), but he and his artistic production should not be reduced simply to instruments of the papacy and its political-doctrinal programs, an impression that is at times communicated by the works of the three most eminent Bernini scholars of the previous generation, Rudolf Wittkower, Howard Hibbard, and Irving Lavin.
As Tomaso Montanari's recent revisionist monograph, La libertà di Bernini (Turin: Einaudi, 2016) argues and Franco Mormando's anti-hagiographic biography, Bernini: His Life and His Rome (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), illustrates, Bernini and his artistic vision maintained a certain degree of freedom from the mindset and mores of Counter-Reformation Roman Catholicism.
8 weeks ago.

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