Bartolomeo Manfredi (Italian, 1582–1622)
David and Goliath (The Triumph of David), c. 1615
Oil on canvas, 50 3/8 x 38 1/4 in.
(128 x 97 cm)
Musée du Louvre, Paris. Acquired in 1990
Rather than presenting the victor David alone with the head of Goliath, Manfredi shows him in triumphant procession following his brave act: “When David returned from slaying the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing . . . with songs of joy, and with instruments of music” (I Samuel 18:6). Although the scene differs in some respects from Caravaggio’s more intense portrayals of the hero, Manfredi does employ a Caravaggesque close-up view, restricting the scene to a few half-length figures. Casually carrying his enemy’s massive head, a young and somber David is accompanied by a single, beautiful tambourine player as they both stroll elegantly across the scene.
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