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David with Goliath’s Head

around 1600/01, Artist: Michelangelo Merisi, gen. Caravaggio



David with Goliath’s Head

Condensing the biblical story of the David’s victorious struggle over the giant Philistine general Goliath, Caravaggio interprets it in a personal way: he shows a melancholy victor who seems to reflect both on himself and his victim. Despite the smooth surface (wood as a painting surface is unusual for Caravaggio), the stylistic proximity to “Madonna of the Rosary” and other works of Caravaggio from his Roman period can be seen.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Saal VI

Object data

Object Name



Caravaggio and Caravaggesque painting


around 1600/01


Michelangelo Merisi, gen. Caravaggio (1571 Mailand - 1610 Porto Ercole) - GND


Poplar wood


Overall: 91,2 cm × 116,2 cm × 2,5 cm
Framed: 113 cm × 138,5 cm × 9 cm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Inv. No.

Gemäldegalerie, 125


Coll. Conte Villamediana (d. 1622); Coll. King Charles I of England; Coll. Imstenraed, Amsterdam; came into imperial possession in 1667

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