Jacques Lipchitz

David and Goliath, on a Column


Jacques Lipchitz 1891–1973
Original title
David et Goliath
Object: 330 x 133 x 133 mm
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982

Not on display

Display caption

Lipchitz used scenes from the Old Testament or from classical mythology to convey explicitly political messages at a time when authoritarian politics were beginning to dominate Europe. A Lithuanian-born Jew, he wrote that this David and Goliath study was related to ‘my hatred of fascism and my conviction that the David of freedom would triumph over the Goliath of oppression’. In the larger version of the work, exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1934, Lipchitz placed a swastika on the chest of Goliath, drawing an explicit parallel with the Nazi threat.

Gallery label, November 2006

Catalogue entry

T03495 David and Goliath, on a Column 1933

Terracotta 13 × 5 1/4 × 5 1/4 (330 × 133 × 133)
Inscribed ‘J Lipchitz 1933’ incised under base, and ‘806 5 off’ in black paint, both under base
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Arnason 1969, repr. 100 (bronze); Lipchitz 1972, pp.127 and 131–2

See entry on T03515. Lipchitz (loc.cit.) referred to this as the ‘final sketch’. The composition differs slightly from the preceding plaster, as here David places both feet against Goliath's back and pulls himself off the ground.

[For T03397 and T03479 to T03534 the foundry inscriptions, and reproductions of casts in other materials in the books listed below, are recorded. Abbreviations used:

Arnason 1969 H.H. Arnason, Jacques Lipchitz: Sketches in Bronze, 1969

Lipchitz 1972 Jacques Lipchitz, My Life in Sculpture, 1972

Stott 1975 Deborah A. Stott, Jacques Lipchitz and Cubism, 1975 (reprinted 1978)

Otterlo 1977 A.M. Hammacher, Lipchitz in Otterlo, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, 1977

Centre Pompidou 1978 Nicole Barbier, Lipchitz: oeuvres de Jacques Lipchitz (1891–1973) dans les collections du Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1978

Arizona 1982 Jacques Lipchitz. Sketches and Models in the collection of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona. Introduction and catalogue by Peter Bermingham, 1982]

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986