David and Goliath | Titian | 1542

David and Goliath | Titian | 1542

David and Goliath | Titian | 1542

Today I’m posting a second article because I just received the news that the painting David and Goliath, by Titian, has been damaged by water.

The work is in the basilica Santa Maria della Salute, in Venice. Apparently, a building next to was burning down and the firemen, to extinguish the fire, logically used hoses; of course, not taking in account that in the basilica were several important paintings, such as the David and Goliath. The water filtered through the roof and damaged Titian’s work, but the first versions say that it is not serious and that this painting can be fixed.

The painting shows the last scene of the biblical story of David and Goliath.

In a battle, the Israeli army faced against the Philistine army. Leading the latter was the giant Goliath who, with his height and swearing, scared the Israelis who wanted to attack them. For days, each army face the other without going to battle, until a young man from the Israelis, named David, trusting God, decided to fight against the giant. With a sling, he hit the giant in the head and, when he was down, David took Goliath’ sword and chopped his head off. After that, the Israeli army fights against the Philistine and they end winning the battle. Little David, in the future, would become king of Israel.

In the painting we see Goliath dead, with his head chopped off and his sword to a side. Standing is David thanking God for his triumph over the giant. The dark sky opens and there is a light that represents the Absolute.

One of the best things to look in the painting is the proportion of the individuals. If we look closely, David seems, at the side of Goliath, a infant; but, if we look at his body, we can see that he was, at least, in puberty. But, of course, we have to remember that Goliath was a giant, which makes logical that his arm is the size of David’s torso.

Take a look at Titian’s last post here.

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~ by Álvaro Mazzino on September 1, 2010.

6 Responses to “David and Goliath | Titian | 1542”

  1. I have studied this painting and have included it in a published article. I have two new things to say. Firstly, the head of Goliath resembles the heads of male Turks that T painted. In other words, the painting can be read as little David (Venice) vanquishing Goliath (the huge Ottoman Empire). Venice was often at war with the Turks. Secondly, the figure of Goliath is based on the falsely restored “Laocoon” tilted backwards, and the foreground hand is from Michelangelo’s “Moses”. The background arm is L’s left arm cranked up in that position. L’s right arm is based on Montorsoli’s false restoration of that arm.

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