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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.

November 2006