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David with the Head of Goliath

ca. 1600
17th Century
10 7/8 in. x 7 1/4 in. (27.62 cm x 18.42 cm)


Object Type: Works on paper
Creation Place: Europe, The Netherlands
Medium and Support: Engraving on Laid paper
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. William Fitzhugh, Jr.
Accession Number: 1951.18
This print, David with the Head of Goliath, is a Netherlandish engraving after the original work by Lucas van Leyden, a well renowned printmaker in Northern Europe in the early sixteenth century. The story of David and Goliath is a very popular narrative in Renaissance art, and many different interpretations of the story can be seen from artist to artist. Lucas van Leyden chose to portray David as a beautiful, young teen, idealized in his youth, adorned in simple clothing, highlighting his purity and innocence, in stark contrast to the oversized sword of Goliath topped with the giant's head, in this sense a symbol of power and authority. The sword also serves to separate David from the crowd of townspeople, dressed in lavish costume, holding music and instruments, and seeming to welcome their hero back. Yet they do not make eye contact with or acknowledge David, further separating him from the lay people, and placing him on a higher sovereign status.

--Abby Massarano, December 2013

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Dimensions
  • Image Dimensions: 10 3/8 in. x 7 1/4 in. (26.35 cm x 18.42 cm)
  • Mat Dimensions: 20 in. x 16 in. (50.8 cm x 40.64 cm)
  • Sheet Dimensions: 10 7/8 x 7 1/4 in. (27.62 x 18.42 cm)

Bibliography List
This object has the following bibliographic references:


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