A large and bold, early 20th century German nationalist David and Goliath scene, by one of the defining “official” painters of the German empire and later, the Third Reich.
This classically styled, expertly rendered scene features a highly eroticized nude David standing strong against the imposing Goliath force. This deeply allegorical mythical painting pronounces the vitality and virility of the German nation, a theme which dominated Nationalist German art throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, even as more abstract movements like German Sucessionism and the Jugendstihl and the dark works of artists like Egon Shiele gained prominence internationally.
Born in 1864, Arthur Kampf began his career in 1879, studying at the Dusseldorf Academy under Peter Jansenn. In 1899 he became Professor of the Berlin Academy of Art, and in 1904, his art was exhibited at the Palace of Fine Arts at the St. Louis World’s Fair. Perhaps his most famous, and certainly his most infamous moment came in 1933, when he began creating propaganda art for the Nazi regime. Arthur Kampf died in 1950.
Stylistically similar to the work of N.C. Wyeth, this remarkable oil painting was created at the height of Kampf’s creative abilities, approx 1910-1915, and is an important example of the German style of mythic art, and a finely realized take on the classic fable of male beauty and the triumph of the underdog, David and Goliath.