Capitalization in Titles of Works

Q. I’m editing a manuscript that mentions a replica of Michelangelo’s David. I know that per 8.198 (17th ed.), David should be italicized. However, should it be italicized in sentences like “David was naked, after all”; “he stumbled forward into David and knocked the statue over onto the pavers; “David’s head parted company with his underendowed body”? I hope to avoid numerous repetitions of the phrase “the statue of David.”

A. Fun manuscript! Italics for the statue would work in all those sentences. The roman version obscures the fact that David is a statue and causes a split-second confusion (who is this person David?) before we remember it’s a statue. Unless the passage is meant to cast the statue as almost alive, say, for the sake of humor, I’d stick with italics. And you can always use “the statue” without adding “of David.”