|(Present-day drawing by|
We would not have had to have been told the figure represented the biblical David. As Florentines, we would have recognized him as quickly as today we would our own Uncle Sam. We might well have discussed his youth, his surprisingly feminine qualities, the striking contraposito of the pose, maybe argued that the figure should not be nude. In any case we would have laughed at the inclusion of the silly hat. We might even have wondered in the back of our minds if our friend, Donato (known to us, his colleagues, as Donatello) might not have more than a passing interest in the boy. We are a little surprised and awed when we hear the sculptor announce he plans to cast his slender nude boy in bronze. We might well have warned him of the difficulty of his proposed undertaking in that nothing of this sort, least of all a twice-lif-size nude figure, had been done since ancient times. Some of us might even have laughed behind his back, gleefully speculating as to how big a molten mess he might make of the whole project.
|David, c.1430, Donatello|