Nicholas Turner, in his 2017 catalogue raisonné of Guercino's paintings, publishes both the British Museum and the Goldman studies in his entry for an oil painting of King David Rending his Garments, present location unknown but formerly at the Bob Jones University Museum, Greenville, SC.2 Turner’s entry describes an account book payment of 50 ducats which was paid on the 14 July 1637 for a painting described as ‘David Profeta fatto in atto di rompersi li habiti proprj’ for the patron ‘Monsignore Gorri’ (Vice Legate of Bologna). The painting portrays the crowned King David in the act of pulling open his garments, which differs from the way in which he is represented in the drawings. Nicholas Turner, when addressing these differences, suggests the patron may have been offered a more conventional composition of King David, which would account for the more traditional format adopted in the pen and ink studies, where he appears with his harp.
Turner dates the British Museum and Goldman drawings, on stylistic grounds, to the mid 1630s and it is likely that the present spirited portrayal of Kind David, with its lively use of pen and ink and wash, dates from the same moment and must also, therefore, relate to the 1637 commission.
1. N. Turner, The Paintings of Guercino A revised and Expanded Catalogue raisonné, Rome 2017, p. 521, under no. 230 (230b – British Museum) and 230a (Jean and Steven Goldman collection)
2. Ibid., no. 230
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