Bernini, David. Rome, Villa Borghese
Bernini David 1623-24.
It was Cardinal Scipione Borghese who commissioned the statue of David, confronting the giant Goliath and armed only with a sling, executed between 1623 and 1624 by twenty – five – year – old Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The youth ‘s tense facial expression is modelled on Bernini himself as he struggle with his tools to work the hard marble. The oversize cuirass leant to David by King Saul before the encounter lies on the ground with the harp David will play after his victory, which is decorated with an eagle ‘s head, a symbolic reference to the Borghese family.
The number of points of view the sculptor intended to present to the spectator is still a matter of conjecture. The right side shows David ‘s movements, his stride is almost a leap as he aims his sling; seen from the front the pose is frozen, just one second before the fatal shot, and seen diagonally there is a rhytmic balance between movement and pose.