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Plaster cast - David with the Head of Goliath
  • David with the Head of Goliath
    Verrocchio, Andrea del, born 1435 - died 1488
  • Enlarge image

David with the Head of Goliath

  • Object:

    Plaster cast

  • Place of origin:

    Florence (original, sculpted)
    Berlin (probably, cast)

  • Date:

    c.1475 (sculpted)
    ca. 1899 (cast)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Verrocchio, Andrea del, born 1435 - died 1488 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster cast, painted plaster.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Cast Courts, Room 46b, The Weston Cast Court , case FS, shelf S

Place of Origin

Florence (original, sculpted)
Berlin (probably, cast)


c.1475 (sculpted)
ca. 1899 (cast)


Verrocchio, Andrea del, born 1435 - died 1488 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Plaster cast, painted plaster.


Height: 126.5 cm

Object history note

Acquired as an exchange with the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin, in 1899

Historical context note

This work is documented as a Medici commission, although it is not certain whether it was ordered by Piero di Cosimo de 'Medici (1416-69) or by one of his sons, Lorenzo (the Magnificent) (1449-92) or Giuliano (1479-1516). In 1476, Lorenzo and his brother sold Verrocchio's David to the Florentine Signoria for the Palazzo Vecchio. In 1898, the figure passed into the Museo Nazionale

Descriptive line

Plaster cast, painted plaster, of David with the head of Goliath, after the bronze original with traces of gilding in the Museo Nazionale (Bargello), Florence, by Andrea del Verrocchio, in about 1475. Probably cast in Berlin, about 1899.

Labels and date

The biblical figure of David was used as a symbol of freedom by the Florentine Republic. Verrocchio made his David as a challenge to a statue of the same subject by Donatello, a cast of which is displayed nearby. With its finely detailed clothing and the startlingly naturalistic head of Goliath, Verrocchio's figure introduced a new realism.
In the 19th century, it was one of the most famous sculptures of the Italian Renaissance and the leading cast collections all included a copy of it. [2014]





Subjects depicted

Armour; Boys; Heads (body parts)


Ph_survey; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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