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David with the Head of Goliath Michele Desubleo


Michele Desubleo Maubeuge, 1602 – Parma, 1676

Date ca. 1630–1640
Object type painting
Medium, technique oil on canvas

98.5 x 84.4 cm
with frame: 121 x 107.5 x 8.5 cm

Inventory number 499
Collection Old Master Paintings
On view This artwork is not on display

This “portrait” of the victorious David, formerly assigned to the circle of the Bolognese Domenichino, has only recently been attributed to Michele Desubleo, half-brother of Nicolas Regnier. The Flemish master, who established himself in Italy, came under the spell of caravaggism in Rome, but the years spent in the workshop of Guido Reni from 1636 onwards turned his art towards classicism. The elegant, aristocratic refinement of the pondering hero, placing his elbow on the severed head of his victim, already reflect Desubleo’s Bolognese links. On the other hand, the marked plasticity of the naked upper body reflects his experience with naturalism. In Aberdeen there is a version of the composition, complemented with a landscape background.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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