The Triumph of David

The panel shows David's triumphal procession from Gath to Jerusalem. David holds the head of Goliath, the giant whom he has just slain. This painting probably formed part of a cassone or another piece of furniture, like its companion 'The Story of David and Goliath', also in the Collection.

The panels were probably painted around 1450 by the Florentine painter, Pesellino. The original patron is not known. However, it has been suggested that they were painted for a member of the Medici family. They are generally considered to be amongst Pesellino's greatest paintings. They represent Pesellino's small-scale, miniaturist style to complement his large-scale 'Trinity' altarpiece (in which the predella was painted by Fra Filippo Lippi and his workshop after Pesellino's death in 1457).

If they were commissioned by a member of the Medici family they are linked to other paintings in the same room in the National Gallery which were owned by the family - 'The Annunciation' and 'Seven Saints' and by Fra Filippo Lippi, and Uccello's 'Battle of San Romano' - Pesellino was clearly influenced by Uccello and indeed in his foreshortening of horses could be said to have surpassed him.

Key facts

Artist dates
1422 - 1457
Full title
The Triumph of David
Date made
about 1445-55
Medium and support
Tempera on wood
43.3 x 177 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought with the assistance of the Art Fund and a number of gifts in wills, 2000
Inventory number
Location in Gallery

Other paintings in the group: Story of David Panels from a Pair of Cassoni (?)