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Brugghen, Hendrick ter (workshop of)
David with the Head of Goliath
around 1629

According to the famous story of David and Goliath, recounted in the First Book of Samuel, the young David, after striking down the Philistine battle champion and thus precipitating a rout of the enemy, carries the head of his victim to the city of Jerusalem (17:54). This painting—where, curiously, the hero is shown with his mouth open—may conjure the scene in which he first displays his trophy to the people of Israel. It is also possible, however, that it depicts the moment when, following his triumph, David is presented to King Saul (17:57): the biblical text specifically mentions that he has the head of Goliath in his hand as he addresses the king. Against this interpretation is the dynamic pose, which does not evoke such a formal episode. The painting provides no further clues as to the particular scene portrayed.

 
Brugghen, Hendrick ter (workshop of)
The Hague, Netherlands1588-Utrecht, Netherlands 1629
David with the Head of Goliath
around 1629
Oil on canvas
overall: 76.2 cm x 68.6 cm
Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2014
57-001.07

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