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David with the Head of Goliath by Caravaggio

    David with the Head of Goliath by Caravaggio

    David with the Head of Goliath by Caravaggio was created in 1600. The painting is in Museo del Prado, Madrid. The size of the work is 110,4 x 91,3 cm and is made of oil on canvas.

    The Bible story (Samuel 1:17) depicted here corresponds to the moment when, as a young shepherd, David kills Goliath, the giant, with his sling and cuts off his head to triumphantly exhibit it. The episode of tying the giant’s tresses to reveal his head has no iconographic precedent and is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, making this work yet another example of Caravaggio’s originality and independence. This painting is first listed in an inventory of the Royal Palace of El Buen Retiro, 1794. Its previous history is unknown but it is thought, with some reservation, to be from the collection of Juan Bautista Crescenzi. (Read more in Museo del Prado)

    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… Read more


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