David with the Head of Goliath
is a painting by the Italian Baroque
. It is housed in the Galleria Borghese
, Rome. The painting, which was in the collection of Cardinal Scipione Borghese
in 1613, has been dated as early as 1605 and as late as 1609–1610, with more recent scholars tending towards the latter.
The immediate inspiration for Caravaggio is a work by a follower of Giorgione
, c.1510, but Caravaggio captures the drama more effectively by having the head dangling from David's hand and dripping blood, rather than resting on a ledge. The sword in David's hand carries an abbreviated inscription H-AS OS; this has been interpreted as an abbreviation of the Latin phrase Humilitas occidit superbiam
("humility kills pride").
David is perturbed, "his expression mingling sadness and compassion."Catherine Puglisi, Caravaggio
(Phaidon, 1998), p.360, plate 180 The decision to depict him as pensive rather than jubilant creates an unusual psychological bond between him and Goliath. This bond is further complicated by the fact that Caravaggio has depicted himself as Goliath, while the model for David is il suo Caravaggino
("his... Read More