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David with the Head of Goliath

circa 1610s
17th century
26.6 cm x 14.9 cm (10 1/2 in. x 5 7/8 in.)

Lionello Spada (1576 - 1622) Primary

Object Type: drawing
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Pen and brown ink with brush and brown wash over black chalk on cream antique la
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.1375

According to the old inscription in French, this drawing corresponds to a painting by Spada then in the Cospi Collection in Bologna and described by the Bolognese historian Malvasia. Whether the author of the inscription knew this painting first-hand or only from the verbal description cannot be ascertained, and no such painting is known today. But when this circumstantial evidence is combined with the generally Bolognese style, Caravaggesque accent, and haughty flourish of this drawing -- all perfectly consistent with Spada’s style as a painter -- it becomes convincing as the most important example of his draftsmanship

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