The statue of David, in the Galleria Borghese, was carved by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) when he was just twenty-five years old.
The sculpture was commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the wealthy nephew of Pope Paul V (r 1605-21). The oversized cuirass, which was lent to David by King Saul before his encounter with Goliath, lies on the ground with the harp David will play after his victory. The harp is decorated with an eagle's head, a reference to one of the charges on the coat of arms of the Borghese family.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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