(Naples, 1634 – 1705)
David and Goliath
oil on canvas
Symbol of the intellectual victory over physical strength, David is depicted in the instant that follows the battle, when he is proud and relaxed, and now he holds the head of Goliath beside him. It is a huge head lying on a surface and highlighted with strong chiaroscuro contrasts in which Luca Giordano insists, almost with a macabre taste, in the representation of the cut flesh and the bleeding neck.
Luca Giordano realized many variations on this theme especially in the last years of his activity; in each version, however, he manages to highlight different aspects of the story. Our painting can be dated around 1704, immediately after his return in Naples, when the ties with the Madrid court are still strong. The fur cap and the brush strokes of bright red still seem to remember the real Spanish splendor.
Luca Giordano is known as ‘Luca fapresto‘ thanks to the realization in just two days of the canvases for the cruise of the church of Santa Maria del Pianto in Naples and for his speed in copying the great masters of the 16th Century. He was a Neapolitan painter active in the second half of the 17th Century between his hometown, Venice, Rome, Florence and Madrid: extremely permeable to external influences suggestions, in his painting are recognizable the mixed influences of the Roman Baroque, the colorism of the Venetian tradition and a darkness of Spanish origin.