David con la testa di Golia (c.1600-1601)

Caravaggio (1571-1610)

David con la testa di Golia (David with the Head of Goliath)
c.16001601
Oil on poplar, 91.2 x 138.5 x 2.5 cm
Kunsthistorisches MuseumVienna

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