The figure has been interpreted in a variety of ways. One has been to suggest that Donatello was homosexual and that he was expressing that sexual attitude through this statue.   A second is to suggest that the work refers to homosocial values in Florentine society without expressing Donatello’s personal tendencies.   However, during the Renaissance sodomy was illegal, and over 14,000 men had been tried in Florence for this crime.  So this homosexual implication would have been dangerous. A third interpretation is that David represents Donatello’s effort to create a unique version of the male nude, to exercise artistic license rather than copy the classical models that had thus far been the sources for the depiction of the male nude in Renaissance art. 
Donatello, then in his early twenties, was commissioned to carve a statue of David in 1408, to top one of the buttresses of Florence Cathedral, though it was never placed there. Nanni di Banco was commissioned to carve a marble statue of Isaiah, at the same scale, in the same year. One of the statues was lifted into place in 1409, but was found to be too small to be easily visible from the ground and was taken down; both statues then languished in the workshop of the opera for several years.    In 1416, the Signoria of Florence commanded that the David be sent to the Palazzo della Signoria; evidently the young David was seen as an effective political symbol, as well as a religious hero. Donatello was asked to make some adjustments to the statue (perhaps to make him look less like a prophet), and a pedestal with an inscription was made for it: PRO PATRIA FORTITER DIMICANTIBUS ETIAM ADVERSUS TERRIBILISSIMOS HOSTES DII PRAESTANT AUXILIUM (“To those who fight bravely for the fatherland the gods lend aid even against the most terrible foes”). 
Between 1415 and 1426, Donatello created five statues for the campanile of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, also known as the Duomo. These works are the Beardless Prophet; Bearded Prophet (both from 1415); the Sacrifice of Isaac (1421); Habbakuk (1423–25); and Jeremiah (1423–26); which follow the classical models for orators and are characterized by strong portrait details. From the late teens is the Pazzi Madonna relief in Berlin. In 1425, he executed the notable Crucifix for Santa Croce; this work portrays Christ in a moment of the agony, eyes and mouth partially opened, the body contracted in an ungraceful posture.
In 2020 thanks to Gianluca Amato art historian, who did the doctoral thesis at the University of Naples Federico II on the wooden crucifixes between the late thirteenth and the first half of the sixteenth century, with studies he discovered that the crucifix of the church of Sant’Angelo a Legnaia is of the hand of Donatello. This discovery has been historically evaluated considering that the work belonged to the Compagnia di Sant’Agostino which was based in the oratory adjacent to the mother church of Sant’Angelo a Legnaia. The promoters of the research were Don Moreno Bucalossi and Anna Bisceglia functionary and historian of the art of the superintendence who in 2012 considered the work worthy of study and restoration. Silvia Bensì took care of the restoration that brought the work that has now returned to its home to its former glory.