LEYDEN, Lucas van
(b. 1494, Leiden, d. 1533, Leiden)

David Playing the Harp before Saul

c. 1508
Engraving, 254 x 184 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

In this print Lucas presents two large figures in a cramped throne room. He selected an unusual moment to illustrate the story of the mad king about to cast his lance at David, who plays his harp to soothe Saul's melancholy. The actual violence is not depicted, but rather the moment before the hurling of the lance, when Saul is brooding over his jealousy of the youth.