TIZIANO Vecellio
(b. 1490, Pieve di Cadore, d. 1576, Venezia)

David and Goliath

Oil on canvas, 300 x 285 cm
Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

Titian executed three ceiling paintings (Sacrifice of Isaac; Cain and Abel; David and Goliath) for the ceiling of the church Santo Spirito in Isola (now they are in the sacristy of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice). These paintings are characterized by the spiraling movement of the figures, the counterpoised poses and the strong intersecting diagonals. In these canvases we see Titian's Mannerism at its height.

Titian uses a very unusual iconography in this painting. David prays after defeating the Philistine giant, and the leaden sky is rent by the light of grace.