VALENTIN DE BOULOGNE
(b. 1591, Coulommier-en-Brie, d. 1632, Roma)
David with the Head of Goliath and Two Soldiers1620-22
Oil on canvas, 99 x 134 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
This canvas closely follows Caravaggio's naturalistic approach, both in terms of form and content. A strong chiaroscuro governs the scene, highlighting the figure of David. The artist has created a compact group of half-length figures situated behind a table on which David has rested the decapitated head of Goliath, all set against a dark background which could be a wall and which serves to block any recession into depth, creating a very shallow foreground space.