The Court of David
This open-air space is located on a hilltop between Forest Lawn Museum and the Court of Freedom. It features a full-scale marble replica of Michelangelo’s David. Carved from Carrara marble, the same type of stone used by Michelangelo, Forest Lawn’s David surveys the landscape of Southern California. Forest Lawn acquired a full-scale replica of David in 1937. Unfortunately an earthquake toppled it in 1971, and a second version was destroyed in 1994 by another earthquake. The current version is on a specially designed base that will allow the statue and pedestal to move with the ground during a seismic event, thereby preventing the artwork from cracking or falling.
A series of three bas-relief bronze plaques provide context for the sculpture. Italian sculptor Ermenegildo Luppi (1877-1937) was commissioned to create The David Panels which depict: 1) David’s
encounter with Goliath; 2) Michelangelo’s presentation of his David sculpture to his Florentine patrons; and 3) an interpretation of King David’s 23rd Psalm showing his fearless, faith-filled entry into heaven.