THATKid Tuesday: David vs. Goliath!

sculpture of Michelangelo's David in Florence
David, by Michelangelo (1501-1504), at the Accademia in Florence, Italy… Staring off in to the middle distance, calculating!

THATKid Tuesday is a dose of Art History terms for kids, simplified and illustrated. These terms are culled from the glossary found in our Kid Packs, booklets you receive on Luxe Hunts that offer travelling families exercises. I made one for families visiting London and Paris, b/c as a mother, I’ve really just wanted to have a glass of wine at the end of a lovely day touristing and have found it useful to give Storsh and Balthazar these exercises at restaurants when travelling. The Kid Packs have art fun such as a Botticelli spot-the-difference, Michelangelo connect-the-dots, some da Vinci Decoding (do you know he kept his journal in a secret language?!!) or even some color-in exercises for smaller siblings.

painting of David beheading Goliath
Daniele da Volterra’s David slaying Goliath, circa 1550 – 1555 (au Louvre)

This time we’re going to look at the story of David vs Goliath!

Goliath, a 9-foot giant Philistine warrior, was defeated by the young boy David in the Bible’s Books of Samuel (Old Testament). King Saul had offered the shepherd David a sword and armor, but David refused and, defeating all odds, killing Goliath with a simple stone and sling. The term David vs Goliath refers to an underdog overcoming the odds with strong motivation and smarts. For instance, if two technology companies were competing — with one of them as Google and the other as a start-up — if the start-up outperforms Google by a massive margin, the term “David vs Goliath” would likely to be used.

Bronze sculpture of David by Donatello
a cast copy of Donatello’s young boy David at the V&A in London. The original is at the Bargello in Florence

This biblical story has been the subject of many pieces of art, music, and literature throughout the ages, such as these replicas by Donatello and Verrocchio in the V&A. There’s just something about the story of a little guy getting one over on a giant bully that really speaks to people of any time. The actual tale is a bit gruesome, as David hacks off his opponent’s head after killing him, and takes it with him as a sort of trophy. Not exactly a bronze participation trophy, eh?

bronze sculpture of David and Goliath
Verrocchio’s David leaves the tired old head of Goliath beheaded and at his foot. This cast copy from the V&A, the original is at the Bargello in Florence

Any questions about David vs Goliath in art? Or leave us a comment below with your favorite David & Goliath!

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