David with the head of Goliath - Caravaggio. 125x100
The powerful, unrestrained temperament that manifested itself in the works of Caravaggio in his life more than once interfered with him. “... On Campo Marzio Square,” the Roman Curia criminal investigator reported in 1606, “there was a serious quarrel between four men on each side. The leader of one was Ranuccio da Terni, who died after a long struggle; the other side was led by Michelangelo da Caravaggio, a painter well known today who is said to have received a wound, but his whereabouts are unknown. (...) The incident caused a quarrel over 10 skudey that the deceased won from the painter. " Caravaggio was sentenced in absentia to death and fled to Naples, and then to Malta. There, towards the end of his life, he painted a picture depicting a shepherd David with the head of the giant Goliath defeated by him.
Out of the thick darkness appears a young man who holds in his hand his severed head. It is believed that the face of a giant is a self-portrait of the artist. A similar trick - to place your own image in a dramatic context - was resorted to by the namesake of the painter, Michelangelo Buonarroti, creating the Last Judgment fresco in the Sistine Chapel: on the skin that he holds in St. Bartholomew’s hands, the artist’s head is imprinted.
Caravaggio reinforced the feeling of bitter sadness that emanates from his picture by the fact that he decided unusually the image of David: the winner himself looks defeated, sufferingly looking at the deeds of his hands.