Donatello’s David

Donatello’s David was very controversial in the Italian Renaissance time period. Previous to the Italian Renaissance, in the Classical period, homosexuality was very common because men held the belief that they could only achieve great love with another man. But at the time Donatello created “David” sodomy was illegal and many people were being tried for the crime. “David” had implications of Donatello himself being homosexual. The fact that it was a statue of a young man with a lot of detail in the genital area and a feather that caressed his leg implied that Donatello himself was homosexual. It is also a notable piece because it was the first unsupported bronze cast statue. It was created between the 1430-1440 the exact date is unknown.

The statue was the center piece of the first courtyard of Palazzo Medici in Florence. It belonged to Cosimo de’Medici and the fact that he accepted this statue was a reason why Girolamo Savonrola didn’t like Medici’s humanist ideas. Savonrola was a priest and leader of Florence, known for his book burnings and destruction of art that he consider immoral.

I found Donatello’s “David” appealing because of the historic background. The fact that Donatello took risk in making it, whether he was homosexual or not, gives value to the piece. I also was intrigued on how feminine the statue looked. It is a beautifully made statue and amazing how it was done with out support.


~ by Rebekah Telfer on February 13, 2010.

2 Responses to “Donatello’s David”

  1. Way to go Bekah! I really liked this blog. I liked how you gave a well structured summary of the statue “David”. I like how you started with the history and with it included all the drama that went along with the statue. And then followed up with it’s current location and how you felt about it. Keep up the good work!

  2. I enjoyed reading this blog, you did a great a job explaining why donatello was suspected of being homosexual. Good job with finding the location, I had difficulty learning where my work of art was. In my opinion this blog deserves full grading credit.

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