This painting, created in 1650 during the artist's late period, is a superb example of Guercino's work both in terms of its quality and its provenance. This painting is recorded in the 1650 entry in Guercino's studio account book as, roughly translated, "David holding head of Goliath made for Lodovico Fermi." Later, in 1680, the work appears in the Farnese family assets records as part of the collection of Ranuccio Farnese II, then Duke of Parma. Iconographically this composition is extremely rare. Unlike most views of David, boasting of his victory after vanquishing Goliath the giant, here David is shown in a very subdued state, in an introspective moment where he thanks God for his victory. The dark blue used in the background was a color characteristic of Guercino's works at this time, and it was a darkened version of lapis lazuli, a pigment traditionally closely linked to God and heaven. The use of this pigment evokes the internal conundrum of David caused by his spectacular victory. This painting was popular from the time of its creation and there are two extant copies of the work painted by Guercino's students. This is the best example of the Bolognese school during the Italian Baroque era in the NMWA collection. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 21)


  • Title: David with the Head of Goliath
  • Creator Lifespan: 1591 - 1666
  • Creator Nationality: Italian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Bologna
  • Creator Birth Place: Cento
  • Date Created: c. 1650
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Provenance: Acquired from Guercino on 12 October 1650, by Lodovico Fermi of Piacenza; In the Collection of the Farnese Duke of Parma c. 1680, and subsequently inherited by the Bourbon Kings of the Two Sicilies (Naples); John Udney, Sale Christie's, 25 April 1800, lot 46; Sotheby & Co., 9 November 1927, lot 5; Private Collection, Copenhagen, until 1982.
  • Physical Dimensions: w1020 x h1205 mm
  • Painter: Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)
  • Object title (Japanese): ゴリアテの首を持つダヴィデ
  • Object notes (Japanese): 本作品はグエルチーノ晩年の1650年に制作された作品のなかでも、来歴の点でも、また質の点でもきわめて優れた作品のひとつである。グエルチーノが残した『勘定帳』の1650年の項に記録されている「ロドヴィーコ・フェルミ氏のために制作されたゴリアテの首を持つダヴィデ」がこの作品であり、その後パルマ公ラヌッチョ・ファルネーゼ2世のコレクションにあったことを1680年のファルネーゼ家の財産目録から知ることができる。本作品の構図は図像的にきわめて珍しく、巨人ゴリアテを倒した後のダヴィデが勝利を誇示するという歴史的に一般的な表現とは異なり、非常に落ち着いた様子で神に勝利の感謝を捧げるという内省的な構図をとっている。また背景の暗い青もこの時代のグエルチーノに特徴的で、伝統的に神あるいは天と深い結びつきをもつラピスラズリを暗い色調で用い、華々しい勝利の陰にあるダヴィデの内面の葛藤を描き出している。本作品が制作当時から人気があったことは、本作品を原画とした彼の弟子による模写が2点残されていることからも窺われる。西洋美術館が所蔵するイタリア・バロックの、ボローニャ派を代表する優れた作品である。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 21)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): グエルチーノ(本名ジョヴァンニ・フランチェスコ・バルビエーリ)
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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