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Domenico Fetti (Rome c. 1588-Venice 1623)

David with the Head of Goliath c.1620

Oil on canvas | 153.5 x 125.1 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 404731

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This dramatic painting depicts the moment after the shepherd boy David defeats Goliath using a single stone from his sling. The giant's decapitated body lies on the battlefield behind. Fetti painted this at the height of his career while employed at the Mantuan court and it was among the group of paintings acquired by Charles I in 1627 from the Duke of Mantua. Collection of Charles I, sold for £20 to Robert Houghton, 16 January 1652, returned to the Crown at the Restoration. Ex. cat.