David (Bernini)

David (Bernini)

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David (Bernini)

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David is a life-size marble sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The sculpture was part of a commission to decorate the villa of Bernini's patron Cardinal Scipione Borghese – the Galleria Borghese – where it still resides. 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. Relating to earlier works on the same theme, it is also revolutionary in its implied movement and its psychological depth.


Between 1618 and 1625 Bernini was commissioned to decorate with sculptures the villa of his patron, Cardinal Scipione Borghese. In 1623 – only yet 24 years old – he was working on the sculpture of Apollo and Daphne, when for some reason he abandoned this project to start work on the David. According to records of payment, Bernini had started on the sculpture by mid–1623, while his contemporary biographer, Filippo Baldinucci, states that he finished it in seven months.

thumb|left|300px|Animated 3d scan of the sculpture

David was the last commission Bernini could take for Borghese. Even before it was finished, his friend and protector Maffeo Barberini was elected pope, as Pope Urban VIII. This would lead to several large-scale architectural projects for Bernini,...
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