David with the Head of Goliath, ..
In the finished painting the melodrama is banished: the drama is transferred from Goliath to the quietly efficient David, his face almost hidden, intent on the work of his hands in his enemy's hair, kneeling almost casually on the man's torso.The exact moment depicted appears to be that referred to in I Samuel 17:57: "When David came back after killing the Philistine, Abner took him and presented him to Saul with the Philistine's head still in his hand." The pose is a usual one for the episode, showing David striding in triumph with the head in his hand.
Claude Vignon | David with the Head of Goliath (1620) | Artsy
It shows the Biblical David as a young boy (in accordance with the Bible story) fastening the head of the champion of the Philistines, the giant Goliath, by the hair.
The two are very similar - Caravaggio frequently explored a subject in multiple variations, most notably his many versions of John the Baptist - but the Vienna painting is less 'dark' in mood, the David more triumphant than the introspective and oddly compassionate David of the Borghese, and the head of Goliath, widely accepted as a self-portrait of the artist in the Borghese, is more generic.This painting, which was in the collection of Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1613, has been dated as early as 1605 and as late as 1609-1610.