Michelangelo is famous for saying that he worked to liberate the forms imprisoned in the marble. He saw his job as simply removing what was extraneous. This endless struggle of man to free himself from his physical constraints is a metaphor of the flesh burdening the soul.
Michelangelo was a subtractive sculptor. He used a mallet and chisels and other tools to free a figure from the marble block. Michelangelo was so dedicated to his work that he would sculpt at night by attaching candles to his hat. YouTube video – Carving marble With Traditional Tools (2:47 min.)
THE STATUE IS CARVED FROM A SINGLE BLOCK OF UNWANTED MARBLE. The block of marble that became one of history’s most famous masterpieces proves the old cliché about one man’s trash being another’s treasure. Michelangelo created David from a piece of marble that had been twice discarded by other sculptors.
Sculpture is considered the finest art form because it mimics divine creation: The sculptural image is found within the block of stone much as the human soul is found within the physical body. The David is considered a masterpiece , an ideal male form combining heroic strength and human uncertainty.
1. Michelangelo’s David is massive at 17 feet tall and more than 12,000 pounds, yet it is sculpted from a single block of white marble. 2. The block of marble that Michelangelo used to carve “David” had been worked on more than 50 years earlier by Donatello.
Among the many treasures that will be on view in Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer are three sculptures the artist carved in marble from Carrara , including the monumental, unfinished Apollo-David.
The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is one of Michelangelo’s most famous works.
Unlike wood, the marble is cut slowly and with a constant feed of oil (I thought I read somewhere that Romans used olive oil for this, but I cannot confirm) or water to wash away the grit and to prevent overheating/stress on the blade. Slabs were then sanded and finished to specification, depending on need.
Circumcision was different in the time of David and is actually correctly noted in the statue with just the tip of the foreskin removed. It wouldn’t become a more common practice to completely remove the skin until roman times. Michelangelo , by all accounts, is accurate to David’s time.
Michelangelo’s David has become one of the most recognized works of Renaissance sculpture; a symbol of strength and youthful beauty. The colossal size of the statue alone impressed Michelangelo’s contemporaries.
Called a fustibal, or staff-sling, the weapon was used to throw stones. Of these, only the latter is represented in Michelangelo’s sculpture, as David holds the pouch of the sling in his left hand , above his shoulder.
David represents humanist ideal of a man who can become a hero by his intelligence and will power. Another humanist value that David represents is civic virtue. David was created by the humanist , Michelangelo , to symbolize the defense of civil liberties of the Florentine Republic.
David (Hebrew: דָּוִד) is described in the Hebrew Bible as king of the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah. In the Books of Samuel, David is a young shepherd who gains fame first as a musician and later by killing the enemy champion Goliath. He becomes a favorite of King Saul and a close friend of Saul’s son Jonathan.