Gianlorenzo Bernini’s sculpture of David, completed in 1623-24, shows a unique depiction of the hero as he prepares to throw a stone. This work showcases the flourishing baroque movement of the early 17th century, characterized by diagonal lines in the composition. Bernini’s David looks as if he is winding up to throw a 95 miles per hour fastball, making him relatable in his physicality.
The process of creating this work took several months, with Bernini using his technical skill to portray David’s muscle movement, mental tension, and dynamics. This sculpture marked Bernini as a pioneering artist who combined different mediums to create one larger artwork, reimagining what an artwork could be.
The subject of King David in the arts has been depicted in various ways throughout history, with Michelangelo and Donatello also creating famous statues of him. However, Bernini’s work stands out as an exceptional portrayal, emphasizing David’s sense of action and motion. With this sculpture, Bernini has created a powerful and dynamic representation of the biblical hero.