(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)

David and Goliath (detail)

Cappella Sistina, Vatican

A sheet of light descends from David's shoulder along the sleeve of his tunic (painted smalt-blue with lime-white reflections) to the head of Goliath, who is sprawled on the ground, stressing his centrality to the composition and highlighting the dramatic violence of the action.

The composition was carefully planned in order to neutralize, as far as possible, the irregular shape of the field, dramatically forcing the predominant line of sight by means of the bold foreshortening of the two figures and the luminous convexity of the white tent, modeled with violet shadows. In the foreground, toward the lower vertex of the triangle, David's sling, lying on the ground, constitutes the starting point of the projection of the perspective along the central axis of the composition.