I'm searching for two paintings I saw long ago
August 7, 2023 5:23 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find these two realistic paintings of David & Goliath. Both paintings were very large, perhaps 8 x 10 feet or more. Mounted side by side and giving a very different interpretation of the end of the battle: in one David looks quite young, perhaps 14 and seems stunned by his success, in the second he looks older, perhaps 18 or 19 and his foot rests on Goliath's chest and his expression is triumphant.

Way back when, possibly as early as late 60s or 70s I was in a museum, I'm fairly sure in Los Angeles. (not the Getty or Huntington) I was stunned by two quite large paintings depicting David and Goliath because they had such differing emotional impacts. I had the impression that these were very old paintings and probably Italian and I'm nearly positive both were painted by the same artist. Both were quite realistic and elaborate.
In one, David was nearly a boy, clearly young and seeming amazed that he had defeated the giant. I believe he held a slingshot.
In the second, David was perhaps late teens or very early 20s, clearly triumphant, with his foot atop Goliath's chest and radiating pride.
Backgrounds were pretty detailed.
As to style, I found this Titian which has the level of anatomic detail I recall

I can't seem to get a link to work
This Titian is at the level of realism I recall:


I don't think David had a sword, and I'm certain Goliath's head was still attached to his body.
Good luck to everyone!
posted by sugarbx19 to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
Francesco Pesellino?
posted by warriorqueen at 8:28 PM on August 7, 2023

This Rubens is in the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and sounds a little like the second painting you describe, but I don't know if Rubens has done another David! However, this very young David by an unknown artist is at the same museum. (Goliath is decapitated here but it's a bit less obvious than it usually is.)
posted by babelfish at 9:10 PM on August 7, 2023

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art had a Guido Reni (1575-1642) exhibit from Oct. 1988 - May 1989; his David with the Head of Goliath c. 1605/6 and David and Goliath c. 1610. For this exhibit, there's a "Box 25, Folder 21-23 Guido Reni & Guercino" in the archives. After Reni's death, Guercino [Giovanni Francesco Barbieri] produced works similar to Reni's style, like David with the Head of Goliath c. 1650.

Both artists were influenced by Caravaggio. LACMA's Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy exhibit ran Nov. 11, 2012 – Feb. 10, 2013 and "included a record eight works" by the artist. No idea if the works included Caravaggio's David and Goliath, c. 1599 or David with the Head of Goliath, c. 1610.

Have a skim through David & Goliath paintings.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:18 PM on August 7, 2023

Response by poster: Clarification:
Both massive paintings feature expansive, realistic, and detailed views of the near and far countryside, such that the two featured characters occupy perhaps 40% of the canvas and are set at some distance from the viewer. The setting is in daylight.
posted by sugarbx19 at 10:21 PM on August 7, 2023

This painting by Courtois shows a lot of background.
posted by coevals at 9:47 AM on August 8, 2023

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