- Museum number
David with the head of Goliath; nude figure of David striding to left, holding onto the giant's hair with his left hand
Verso: Studies of children
Pen and brown ink
- Production date
Height: 116 millimetres
Width: 82 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- For further provenance check P 62. The studies on the verso are for the putti of the frescoes at the Rocca Sanvitale, Fontanellato - further studies are located in the Louvre (inv. 6439), Morgan (inv. I. 49), Uffizi (n. 13397 F). The recto may be a study for the decoration of a sottarco of a side chapel in S Giovanni Evangelista, Parma.
See Popham, 'Catalogue of the Drawings of Parmigianino', Cambridge, 1971, No.164.
The style of the red chalk drawing on the recto suggests a pre-Roman dating. This is confirmed by the sketches on the verso, which are almost certainly studies for the putti of the frescoes at Fontanellato, datable 1523/24. The attitude of the incomplete child on the right, for example, is exactly that of the putto on the left on the recto of the drawing for Fontanellato in the Pierpont Morgan Library (i. 49; Freedberg, fig. 29a). Like 1880,1009.32 and 1865,0708.147, the 'David with the Head of Goliath' is possibly a study for the decoration of the 'sottarco' of one of the side chapels of S. Giovanni Evangelista. In view of Vasari's statement that Parmigianino decorated seven chapels in S. Giovanni Evangelista, it seems likely that he was at any rate commissioned to do more than the two that are certainly from his hand.
Literature: A. E. Popham, Master Drawings, i (1963), no. 1, p. 3; D. Cordellier (ed.), Parmigianino: Dessins du Louvre, exh. cat. Louvre, 2015, cat.14
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- One of ninety drawings from the Cavendish album; see also 1952,0121.75 for a full account of provenance.
From an album, several drawings in which bear the mark of N. A. Flinck whose collection was bought in 1723 by the 2nd Duke of Devonshire. Three of the drawings in the album were engraved by Pond with the inscription "E Museo Praehonlis Dm Dm Jacobi Cavendish". One of these engravings is dated 1734, a year in which two Lords James Cavendish were alive, the third son of the 1st Duke (d. 1751) and the second son of the 2nd Duke (d. 1741). Mr. Francis Thompson was inclined to think that the latter was the collector. The album is believed to have come from the library of Lord Chesham, also a member of the Cavendish family, the 1st Lord Chesham being a great-nephew of the Lord James Cavendish in question.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number