David with His Sword

Object Details

Title:

David with His Sword

Artist/Maker(s):

Salomon de Bray (Dutch, 1597 - 1664)

Culture:

Dutch

Date:

1636

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

62.2 x 50.8 cm (24 1/2 x 20 in.)

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In the classic biblical tale of faith, daring, and skill overcoming brute strength and superior odds (1 Samuel), the shepherd boy David slew the armored Philistine giant Goliath with just a stave, a slingshot, and a pouch containing a few pebbles from a local brook. After stunning Goliath with a stone from his slingshot, David quickly took up the giant's sword and severed his head.

Assured that his audience knew the story, Salomon de Bray could evoke a meaningful narrative by depicting only a boy with an oversize sword. De Bray's David embodies youth and naiveté; he is an ordinary, rather blank-faced, Dutch youth, not an idealized heroic type.

David with His Swordshares the same size, medium, and composition with the artist's Bust of Samson; they were probably paired as pendants or as part of a series of Old Testament heroes.

Provenance
by 1960s -

Private Collection (England), sold to Di Castro & Figlio.

- 1969

Di Castro & Figlio (Rome, Italy), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1969.

Exhibitions
Baroque Masters from the J. Paul Getty Museum (February 26 to March 30, 1973)
  • California State University, Northridge, February 26 to March 30, 1973
Haarlem: The Seventeenth Century (February 20 to April 17, 1983)
  • Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, (New Brunswick), February 20 to April 17, 1983