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The many meanings of Michelangelo's Statue of David - James Earle

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We typically experience classic works of art in a museum, stripped of their original contexts, but that serene setting can belie a tumultuous history. Take Michelangelo's statue of David: devised as a religious symbol, adopted as a political emblem, and later iconized for its aesthetic beauty. James Earle walks us through the statue's journey, to show how art gains layers of meaning over time.

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TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator James Earle
  • Director Avi Ofer
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Narrator Pen-Pen Chen
Additional Resources for you to Explore
PBS Empires Special: The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance

Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo, and the Artistic Dual that Defined the Renaissance by Jonathan Jones

Smart History is a website dedicated to the History of Art and has more resources on the Statue of David.

Amor Sciendi is a YouTube channel specializing in Art History.

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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator James Earle
  • Director Avi Ofer
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Narrator Pen-Pen Chen