Head of Goliath, after Verrocchio

Image of Head of Goliath, after Verrocchio
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A rare late 19th century polychrome terracotta cast of Goliath’s Head after Andrea del Verrocchio’s (1435-1488) bronze masterpiece, David and Goliath, ca. 1475.

Approximate size: 20 x 28 x 26 cm

Condition: Some chips and wear commensurate with age. There is a professional repair along the proper lower right jaw of Goliath where the sculpture must have been broken due to the fragile medium (baked clay). The most apparent chip is along a curvature of hair on the proper right of the sculpture. A thermoluminescence report accompanies this sculpture (conducted by Oxford Authentication, Sample No. N116H66), confirming its 19th century dating.

The present sculpture features a faint painted treatment with flesh tones for the face and dark brown for the hair. It is descendant of a Spanish private collection where the sculpture may have been polychromed during the early 20th century.

While terracotta casts after Verrocchio’s David are more common, independent casts of Goliath’s head are quite rare.

For a long time Verrocchio’s separately cast head of Goliath was dissociated from the sculpture of David and there still remains some debate about how it was positioned at the feet of David. Our terracotta cast was probably made sometime after the two sculptures were reunited in 1865.