David Triumphant over Goliath

David Triumphant over Goliath

late 1400s - early 1500s

Moderno

(Italian, 1467-1528)

Bronze

Overall: 7 x 5.8 cm (2 3/4 x 2 5/16 in.)

Seventy-fifth anniversary gift of Dr. and Mrs. Sherman E. Lee 1992.131

Location

Description

A triumphant David, clad only in his helmet, stands next to the body of his opponent, the Philistine giant Goliath. David holds the sling that incapacitated the giant, allowing him to seize Goliath's sword and sever his head. On the right, a figure, possibly David's friend Jonathan, holds Goliath's body, while his severed head rests at David's feet.

As his pseudonym may indicate, Moderno operated at the forefront of the classical revival in the early 1500s. David's body especially owes much to the classical tradition, with heroic frontal nudity that recalls ancient sculptures of ideal youths. The distinct lack of ornament, and the bold use of empty space characterize Moderno's style, where, instead of simply recreating classical prototypes, he reinterpreted and shifted them to produce dramatic compositions.

--Dominique Pen (July 2013)

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