Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath – Oil at 12 x 16 in. on 22 x 15 in. BFK Rives.
Caravaggio is a sort of art anti-hero; a man with talents that superseded, and sometimes excused, his misdeeds.
In 1606 Caravaggio was accused of murder. He fled Rome shortly after a price was placed on his head. Painting with the hope his talents might yet again be his savior he began painting David with the Head of Goliath. Unlike many interpretations of the story Caravaggio depicted David directly proceeding his triumph.
The head of Goliath was a self portrait. In a macabre plea for his life he portrayed himself as damned. He would die soon after in a gambling dispute. Shortly before he was granted a pardon. It would not reach him in time.
This painting was an excuse to portray Caravaggio as the tumultuous character his mythos suggests. All the while flipping Baroque style on it’s head.