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David Holding Goliath's Head (1650)
David Holding Goliath's Head (1650)
David Holding Goliath's Head (1650)
Public Domain
Guido Cagnacci
Artist Dates
Artist Nationality
David Holding Goliath's Head
oil on canvas
127 x 96.5 cm (50 x 38 in)
K Number
Columbia Museum of Art
Accession Number
CMA 1962.21


Prince Filippo Giuseppe III Colonna [1760-1818] Rome, by 1783. [1] Comte de Faucigny, Paris, France; (his sale Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 11 April 1867, no. 61, bought in); Princess de Faucigny-Lucinge, née Ridgway [2]. (Jacques Seligmann &Co., New York); [3] sold to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation on 9 February 1955; gift to the Columbia Museum of Art 1961, no. CMA 1962.21. [1] Catalogue of Casa Colonna, Rome, 1783, p. 22, no. 128. [2]The painting was not included in the Hotel Drouot Sale sale on 24 November 1937. [3] See Jacques Seligmann & Co. Records at the Archives of American Art: (General Correspondence/SHK 1954-1977 Box 85/folder 15, document 81) and also the inventory sheet no. 8224 (Collectors/Acquisitions/Cagnacci Box 205/folder 6, documents 1-6).

Catalogue Entry

Guido Cagnacci
David Holding Goliath's Head

Columbia, S.C., Columbia Museum of Art (62-930), since 1962.(1) Canvas. 50 3/8 x 38 in. (128 x 96.5 cm.). Good condition except for some restoration on hat and left hand. Two other versions of this figure are known, both differing from K2092 in showing David fully dressed. One of these, in a Triumph of David, with two subordinate figures, was sold at auction in Milan in 1962, as by Lorenzo Pasinelli.(2) The other, formerly in the Tamburi Collection, Bologna, has likewise been attributed to Pasinelli.(3) also to Forabosco,(4) and to Cagnacci.(5) K2092 has been well known only since about 1955, when it was acquired by the Kress Foundation with an attribution to Strozzi. Its close stylistic similarity to the Tamburi version was immediately evident, and both pictures are now considered to be by Cagnacci, in his maturity, about 1650. This attribution for K2092, first suggested on stylistic evidence,(6) has been supported by the discovery of two engravings which would seem to have been made from K2092. Legends on the engravings inform us that they were both made after a painting by Cagnacci in the Colonna Collection, Rome, and that one was executed by Domenico Cunego (1727-1803) and the other by Pietro Savorelli in 1789.(7) This leads to the conclusion that K2092 is probably to be identified with the painting of this subject listed as by Cagnacci in the Colonna cata­logue of 1783.(8) Provenance: Probably Principe Colonna, Rome (Catalogo ... Casa Colonna, Rome, 1783, p. 22, no. 128, as by Cagnacci). Comte de Faucigny, Paris (sale, Hotel Drouot, Paris. Apr. 11-13, 1867. p. 11, no. 61 of catalogue by Decamps, as old copy after Guido Reni; apparently unsold). Possibly Princesse de Faucigny-Lucinge (nee Ridgway). Jacques Seligmann's, New York. Kress acquisition, 1955 –exhibited: 'Bolognese Baroque Painters, ' Finch College Museum of Art, New York, Feb. 27-Apr. 8, 1962, no. 18, as Cagnacci; after entering the Columbia Museum of Art: 'Art in Italy, 1600-1700,' Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Mich., 1965, no. 113, catalogue note by D. C. Miller, as Cagnacci. c. 1640/55; 'Baroque Painting,' Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R.I., and elsewhere, circulated by American Federation of Arts, 1968-69. no. 2 of catalogue, as Cagnacci.


(1) Catalogue by A. Contini Bonacossi, 1962, pp. 109 ff., as Cagnacci. (2) Reproduced in Emporium. vol. CXXXV, 1962, p. 268. (3) C. Volpe (in catalogue of the exhibition 'Maestri della Pittura del Seicento Emiliano,' Bologna, 1959, pp. 169 f.) attributes the Tamburi example tentatively to Pasinelli and notes its close similarity to K2092. (4) G. Fiocco (Velletian Painting of the Seicento and Settecento, 1929. p. 34) attributes the Tamburi David to Forabosco and mentions a variant, with David half nude, in Trento. Can this be K2092? It is not reproduced by Fiocco. (5) See note 7, below. (6) By W. E. Suida, in ms. opinion. (7) The Cunego engraving, of which I have not seen a reproduction, was cited by D. C. Miller (in Burlington Magazine, vol. CI, 1959, p.211), presumably before he knew of the existence of K2092, as evidence that the Tamburi version of the painting, which the Cunego engraving resembled except in costume, was by Cagnacci. Later (loc. cit. in Provenance, above) Miller again cited the Cunego engraving, this time as supporting the attribution of both the Tamburi painting and K2092 to Cagnacci and as evidence that K2092 comes from the Colonna Collection. Miller probably did not know of the Savorelli engraving, since he did not mention it. P. Pasini (in Bollettino d'Arte, vol. LII, 1967, p. 85) accepts both K2092 and the Tamburi version as by Cagnacci, publishes a reproduction (fig. 83) of the Savorelli engraving, and cites (p. 89) a painted copy, signed by Joseph Camaron (as after Cagnacci, 'el ano 1781 en Roma') in the Prado. (8) See Provenance, above. The Colonna David is cited by L. Lanzi (History of Painting in Italy, English ed., vol. V, 1928, pp. 156 f.) as one of Cagnacci's 'noblest pieces.'

Catalogue Volume

Italian Paintings XVI – XVIII Century