Donatello’s David sculpture in bronze, one of the most groundbreaking masterpieces of the early Renaissance period, perched high on an elevated base and was visible to visitors in the Palazzo Medici in Florence.
The marble is Donatello’s earliest known significant commission, David, and is a piece tightly connected to tradition, with little indications of the artist’s unique approach to the depiction that he would develop as he aged.
The Donatello David bronze statue is well-known for being the first freestanding piece of bronze created during the Renaissance, and also the first freestanding nude male statue constructed since antiquity.
A further view is that David reflects Donatello’s attempt to create a new portrayal of the male nude, to use artistic license rather than reproduce the classical models that had previously served as the basis for depicting the masculine nude.
From June 2007 to November 2008, the bronze sculpture was restored. The statue had never been repaired before, but fears about layers of “mineralized waxings” on the surface of the bronze prompted the 18-month intervention.