In this writing assignment, you will submit a one page, 400-500 word short essay. Please use Times New Roman, single-spaced, and be concise. This format requires you to condense your ideas and focus only on those that are directly relevant to the topic.

Three Davids.jpg


During this course, we have focused on how to understand the expressive power of a work of art by examining its form, namely the medium, visual elements, and principles of design used by the artist to create the work.

Your next step will be to explore what a work of art can tell us about the society in which the artist lived and worked. To do this, you will examine how political, religious, and intellectual ideas and developments influenced the way the artist formally interpreted the subject.

Donatello, Michelangelo, and Bernini were each shaped by their society, but more importantly, they shaped the society that came after. In their work, each introduced a key aesthetic advancement that influenced artists for generations, changing the course of art.

Your Assignment

In this writing assignment, you will submit a one page, 400-500 word short essay. Please use Times New Roman, single-spaced, and be concise. This format requires you to condense your ideas and focus only on those that are directly relevant to the topic.

This Reflection is worth 80 points. Please read the Grading Rubric before you begin.

Due Date

This Reflection assignment is due by Monday, April 29, at 11:59 p.m.


In this Reflection, you will compare the following three works of art:

  • David by Donatello (1430-1440), Early Renaissance
  • David by Michelangelo (1501-1504), High Renaissance
  • David by Bernini (1623), Italian Baroque

Although the subject is the same, each sculpture expresses the worldview of the period in which it was created.

Step One: Review the Course Content

  1. Complete the reading and study guides for Renaissance and Baroque art.
  2. Watch each video found posted in Extra-Credit Content – Videos: Three Davids.
  3. Take notes while you watch each video.
  4. Organize your notes into logical categories that integrate key ideas and concepts from the videos and reading.

Step Two: Write your Reflection

Write a 400-500 word essay in which you compare and contrast each of the three sculptures (listed above) in terms of context and formal style.

  1. Begin with an outline to organize what you plan to write.
  2. Write a strong paragraph about each artist/work in the order they appeared:
  • Early Renaissance
  • High Renaissance
  • Baroque

Address the following issues and support your ideas with careful observations of the images:

  1. What actual religious, political, or historical events inspired each of these works? Consider who commissioned each work and why.
  2. How does each artist’s unique approach to sculpting the same subject reflect the religious, political, or intellectual ideas of their time period (Early Renaissance, High Renaissance, Baroque)?
  3. Identify and discuss the main aesthetic advances demonstrated in each sculpture.

Step Three: Submit your Reflection

Please submit your assignment to the Submit Assignment link at the upper right. You may submit this assignment as text entry or file upload. If you choose text entry, I recommend that you first write and revise your reflection in Word or other application, then cut and paste it into the text entry box in Canvas. For file upload, PDF format is preferred.

If you upload a PDF, please label your file as follows:

Last name-First name-ThreeDavids


This reflection topic is broadly framed and there is no right or wrong answer. Instead, you will be graded on how well you demonstrate your ability to think clearly about this topic and to logically support your ideas with concepts from the reading, video, and class discussion.

Before you submit your reflection, take a little more time to proofread your work to make sure that what you write actually conveys what you intend to say. Your answers must be clearly-written, well-supported, grammatically correct, and free of spelling and punctuation errors. This is a college level assignment!

Please review the Grading Rubric before you begin.

Earn a High Grade

  1. Before you begin, read all of the instructions, as well as the rubric.
  2. Focus on the key ideas contained in the reading and videos.
  3. Write concise and complete sentences that clearly convey what you intend to say.
  4. Write in third person, present tense. Do not say “I” or refer to yourself.
  5. Start with an outline. Organize what you plan to say before you write.
  6. Support your statements with careful observations about each work of art.
  7. Include your own insights that support your key points.
  8. Have someone else read your work before you submit it.
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