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David with the Head of Goliath by Caravaggio (1601)

    David with the Head of Goliath by Caravaggio

    David with the Head of Goliath by Caravaggio was created in 1601. The painting is in Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien. The size of the work is 91,2 x 116,2 cm and is made as an oil on canvas.

    Caravaggio summarizes the biblical story of David’s victorious battle against the giant Philistine general Goliath and interprets it in a personal way: a melancholy victor is shown who seems to be thinking about himself and his victim. Despite the smooth surface (wood as a painting surface is unusual for Caravaggio!), the stylistic similarity to the “Madonna of the Rosary” and other works by Caravaggio from his Roman period can be seen.

    About the Artist: Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was born in Milan. During the final four years of his life he moved between Naples, Malta, and Sicily until his death. His paintings have been characterized by art critics as combining a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, which had a formative influence on Baroque painting. Caravaggio employed close physical observation with a dramatic use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism. He made the technique a dominant stylistic element, transfixing subjects in bright shafts of light and darkening shadows… Read more


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