Il Guercino 1591 – 1666

David with Goliath's Head

oil on canvas (213 × 158 cm) — 1657 Museum Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Il Guercino biography

This work is linked to 1 Samuel 17:51

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David points at the head of the Philistine warrior Goliath. He had killed the giant with his sling, which lies on the ground to the right. He then cut off Goliath's head, using the giant's own sword (also lying on the ground), in order to take it home to his people.

Guercino made this painting for Massimiliano Stampa, the somewhat murderous marquess of Soncino, in Milan. In 1934 it came in the possession of a Dutch art trader. In 1952 a water board acquired it at an auction - for only 300 guilders. It wasn't until an insurance taxation in 2015 that the true maker and the value of the canvas became clear. The water board then gave it on loan to the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, in Rotterdam.

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