David and Goliath Lorenzo Ghiberti Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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David and Goliath is a topic that has influenced many members of the Italian Renaissance movement, with the theme of the underdog being victorious proving popular.

Ghiberti provides a very literal description of the difference in size between the two warriors, placing them at the bottom of this panel. Multiple soldiers from both sides look on in awe as David protects his town by slaying Goliath, having reached agreement before hand.

Their town sits in the background at the top of the panel, seemingly unaware of the sacrifices being made in its honour. Lorenzo Ghiberti again uses a rocky landscape in between in order to separate the two parts of the composition, with some additional trees that aim to soften the area beneath the rocks.

The David and Goliath panel sits in the bottom left corner of the Gates of Paradise, or East Doors as they were originally known. The original series by Ghiberti was moved to become the North Doors, when this second series was completed. Across from this panel is Solomon and the Queen of Sheba which represented the merge of east and west, perhaps being a political choice by those financing the overall set of doors.

David and Goliath can be found in many different mediums, as the Renaissance scene was particularly diverse. This includes sculpture and frescoes most frequently. Perhaps the best known are Michelangelo's David and Donatello's David. The theme would continue into later art movements but not as frequently because religion itself had a reduced impact on society as a whole. The commissions from religious institutions would also be fewer in number and replaced by other patrons from a variety of backgrounds.