David versus the Slaves

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David versus the Slaves

Posted by: Federica Deriu
Category: Italian online

David versus the Slaves.
The apotheosis of youthful beauty or the disquiet beauty of infinity?










David versus the Slaves.

In other words are you more fascinated by David’s perfection or do you feel more attracted to the unfinished Slaves ( i Prigioni) ?

The David radiates his strength from a 17 foot figure. It may be the most recognised art work in the world, but there is something that it is just impossible to capture in reproductions.
It might be the balance between elegance and fierce, perhaps his languorous eyes  that glare from its monumental height. There is a strong and dazzling light that radiates  from the marble.
The proportions are wrong: they seems exaggerated, the hands are oversized particularly the right one. The head and the neck are enlarged and his left leg is in a way, too long.
The memory that is still with me after the visit at the Accademia in Florence is a sense of ineffable beauty that suffuse this work.
The Beauty  is perhaps enhanced by these exaggerated proportions that add an emotional radiance and, believe me, literally take your breath away.


In the same room  lining the corridor that leads you in front of Michelangelo’s David there are the four unfinished Slaves.

I Prigioni

The Awakening Slave


This is the most unfinished work and the most powerful. The latent power you feel by watching the struggle to free himself from the marble is extraordinary. I have no doubt he is winning its struggle and the explosion out of the marble that hold it, is imminent.

L’Infinito si dibatte nella materia
The Infinity writhes in the matter

The Bearded Slave

This is the most finished and also the least dynamic of the four. The Slave is almost free, only his hands and a little part of his arm is still captured in the marble. There is no fight to be born, there is no titanic struggle to escape from the bound. There is no drama in here! The Bearded man is already a fact, no mystery in it and it seems merely lifeless compared to the other three.


The Young Slave

Author: Federica Deriu

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