- Inventory number
- Poussin, Nicolas
- The Triumph of David
- Ca. 1630
- 100 cm x 130 cm
- On display
- Royal Collection (Collection of Girolamo Casanate, ca. 1646; acquisition of Louis Milon, Bishop of Condom, 1700; Jacques Meijers Collection, Rotterdam, 1714?; Collection of Felipe V, Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia, 1727; Collection of Felipe V, La Granja Palace, “pieza de tocador”, 1746, n. 177; La Granja Palace, “última pieza de su majestad”, 1774, n. 177; Royal Palace of Aranjuez, Madrid, “pieza de música”, 1794, n. 177; Aranjuez Palace, “Consejo de Estado”, 1818, n. 177)
In an architectural setting, a winged Victory crowns David with a laurel wreath. The latter holds his sword with one hand and looks directly at Goliath's decapitated head, which rests on some pieces of armor. Three putti complete the group. One of them plays an instrument while another hands Victory the royal crown destined for David.
This image alludes to a passage from the Old Testament (Samuel 17, 12-58) that tells how David, the young Hebrew shepherd and future king of Judea, took on Goliath, the giant, in order to save his people.
This canvas is considered one of Poussin's masterpieces. Titian's influence is clear here, both in the overall painterly technique and in the formal models of the putti. One of Poussin's most personal characteristics is also visible here: the combination of a mythological theme —the Victory and putti— with a biblical one: the central theme of King David.
This painting entered the Royal Collection by way of the heirs to the painter, Maratta. In 1746, it was listed in the inventories of the Palace of la Granja de San Ildefonso, passing from there to the Palace at Aranjuez.