Inventory number
P00065
Author
Caravaggio
Title
David Victorious over Goliath
Chronology
Ca. 1600
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimensions
110,4 cm x 91,3 cm
School
Italian
Theme
Religion
On display
Yes
Provenance
Royal Collection (Royal Palace of El Buen Retiro, Madrid, 1794, n. 1118; Royal Palace Madrid, “pinturas almacenadas”, 1814-1818, s.n.)

David leans over the dead body of Goliath in order to tie up his amputated head as a trophy.

This painting shows the final scene off the battle between Philistines and Israelites as told in the Old Testament (Samuel 17, 51). David slew Goliath, the giant, using only a stone and a sling, bringing victory to the people of Israel.

Caravaggio portrays David, not as a hero but rather as a young man with a serene aspect who has vanquished Evil thanks to his cleverness and Divine Aid. Only his clenched left fist betrays the tension of the moment.

There has been some controversy as to who painted this work, but nowadays it is unanimously attributed to Caravaggio himself.

 
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