Statue of David

The statue of David is a marble sculpture that was carved by an Italian artist by the name Michelangelo. The commission of the statue was launched in 1501, and the entire statue was completed in 1504. The statue was placed in Florence after being carved. Originally, the statue was commissioned to line the roof of the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower. However, after completion, it was too heavy to lift, and therefore it was placed in the Palazzo della Signoria as a symbol of strength (Shaikh et al., 76). Later on, in 1873 it was relocated to Galleria dell’Accademia.

The statue of David is hinged on the bible story. David is a biblical figure. The fame of David began when he battled against Goliath. Against all the odds, David was unarmored and managed to knock down Goliath with stones from a sling and ultimately beheaded him with his sword. Therefore, the esteemed reputation of David made the Office of Works to feature him in the history of greats. Additionally, Republic of Florence is an independent city-state that was constantly in threats from her enemies. Therefore, the statue of David signifies unexpected strength and courage of the city-state against her enemies.

The statue of David is very significant in religious circles. The statue connects with the Bible which is the source of inspiration of the Christian faith. David is elevated as the victor against Goliath that terrorized the Israelites over a period of time. Similarly, original sin and the corruption of humanity has been stung to the conscious of human being. A man, frail and without honor death to conquer death after his resurrection. This man is Jesus Christ who is described as the son of David. The statue of David is at the heart of the religion of Christianity.

The statue of David carries such a deep political meaning. It was in 1504 that the Medici family had been exiled from Florence for around ten years and a Republican that was against Medicean was heading the state-city. At the town hall was David facing Rome the residence of Medici in exile with a stone in his arm ready to strike the Medicean Goliath (Paoletti et al., 43). The statue carried the anti-Medici message, and when the Medici returned to Florence in 1512, the statue was spared despite attempts to reframe its political structure. The statue of David symbolizes the united Florence against the political rivals who want to take render them captives.

The historical significance of the statue of David is overlapped within its religious and political themes. David is an ancient legend that conquered the giant like enemy of Israel. Israelites views David as key hero in delivering the Israelites from the claws of Philistines. Biblically, David, a young shepherd is narrated to claim victory of Israel against Philistines to King Saul. Without military weapons and armor, David knocked down Goliath and slaughtered him to climax the victory. More also, the link of the statue to the captivity of Florence by Medicean depicts another phase of the history of David (Smithers, 16). The statue carries a unique cultural message. It reveals the art of carving out of stones that was being practiced by the Greeks and Israelites. The statue is curved so amazingly that each cut of the stone carries a specific meaning.


Work cited

Shaikh, Saad, and James Leonard-Amodeo. “The deviating eyes of Michelangelo’s David.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 98.2 (2005): 75-76.

Paoletti, John T. Michelangelo’s David: Florentine history and civic identity. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Smithers, Tamara. “Introduction: Michelangelo in the New Millennium.” Michelangelo in the New Millennium. BRILL, 2016. 1-21.