T03515 David and Goliath 1933
Plaster 11 × 11 × 6 (279 × 279 × 152)
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Arnason 1969, repr.99 (bronze); Lipchitz 1972, pp.127 and 131–2
Arnason reproduces four sketches for this subject, including this one and T03415. A large plaster, 30 ins. high, was exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1934 (Maurice Raynal, Lipchitz, 1947, n.p., repr.). This plaster was one of the most explicit of Lipchitz's references to the Nazis, as the figure of Goliath had a swastika inscribed on his chest (not visible in Raynal's illustration) and the Old Testament subject makes clear that it was the Jews who were retaliating.
During 1933 I had designed a series of maquettes on the theme of David and Goliath that were specifically related to my hatred of fascism and my conviction that the David of freedom would triumph over the Goliath of oppression. In the first of the four remaining maquettes (1933) David stands over the recumbent Goliath, twisting a cord around his neck. In the subsequent sketches, the figures are reversed, with the huge Goliath rising up vertically and David pulling back with all his strength on the great cable cord which he has twisted around the throat of the giant. The final sketch, placing the figures on a column, reduces the size of the giant to a more human scale…