Amazing masterpiece with spicy details!
We all know Michelangelo’s David.
Traditionally, David was portrayed after his victory, triumphant over Goliath. Both Verrochio’s and Donatello’s Davids are depicted standing over Goliath’s severed head. Michelangelo has depicted David before the battle. Davis is tense, but not so much in a physical as in a mental sense. The slingshot he carries over his shoulder is almost invisible, emphasizing that David’s victory was one of cleverness, not sheer force. This interpretation comes from Gardner’s art through the ages. Irving Stone is somewhat more specific in stating that David is depicted at the moment that he decides to engage Goliath.
Michelangelo was a citizen of the city state of Firenze (Florence). The national state of Italy is very young, and in the time the statue was made (between 1501 and 1504), power resided with individual cities. Firenze was surrounded by enemies that much stronger and more numerous than the city was. When the statue of David was placed on the square in front of the city hall (where you can now find a copy), the people of Firenze immediately identified with him, as a cunning victor over superior enemies. To them, David was a symbol representing fortezza and ira, strength and anger. The statue had (intended) political connotations for the city state that had recently cast of the ruling of the Medici family. Note how David’s character traits, are considered more important than his victory over Goliath, which is why Michelangelo depicted him before the battle, strong-willed and ready to fight.