The block of marble for this sculpture was originally delivered in 1464. It was attempted without success twice in the 40 years between its delivery and when Michelangelo began his work at the age of 26.
The statue appears to show David after he has made the decision to fight Goliath but before the battle has actually taken place, a moment between conscious choice and action. His brow is drawn, his neck tense and the veins bulge out of his lowered right hand.
Michelangelo believed the sculptor was a tool of God, not creating but by revealing the powerful figures already contained in the marble. Michelangelo’s task was only to chip away the excess, to reveal.
26 Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth.
27 God created mankind in his image;
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.