David with the Head of Goliath (recto); Two Studies, one of a Woman (verso)

Object Details

Title:

David with the Head of Goliath (recto); Two Studies, one of a Woman (verso)

Artist/Maker(s):

Domenico Fetti (Italian, about 1589 - 1623)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1620

Medium:

Red, black, and white chalk (recto); red chalk (verso)

Dimensions:

28.9 x 20.3 cm (11 3/8 x 8 in.)

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Domenico Fetti shows the Old Testament hero David, not as an innocent young boy with a slingshot, but as a muscular young shepherd who will soon be king of Israel. With his bulging arm and self-confident gaze, David looks fully aware of the significance of his recent killing. Holding the massive, severed head of Goliath in one hand and an oversized sword in the other, he gazes down at the viewer with a direct and shrewd expression. Fetti used rapid strokes of red chalk with soft parallel lines of hatching to give texture to the soft folds of his shirt and cap and its feathered plumes. Touches of black and white chalk create deeper shadows and rich highlights while animating the image.

Scholars believe Fetti created this drawing as a preparatory study for his painting of David with Goliath's head.

Exhibitions
Italian Master Drawings (May 5 to July 19, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), May 5 to July 19, 1992, (Cat.)
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993, (Cat. recto 43)
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994, (Cat. recto 17)