Donatello's bronze david and judith as metaphors of medici rule in Florence

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Donatello's bronze David and Judith and Holofernes should be considered a de facto pair. As recently confirmed, they were the only two modern freestanding sculptures displayed in the outdoor spaces of the Medici Palace from about 1464-66 to 1495. The related discovery of an inscription praising David as a tyrant slayer accords with a similar inscription once on the Judith and Holofernes. This new evidence is combined with a demonstration of how the two sculptures evoke John of Salisbury's writings and the Athenian statues known as the Tyrannicides to establish the Medici as defenders of Florentine liberty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-47
Number of pages16
JournalArt Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • History


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