Old Testament. After the prophet Samuel anointed David as King Saul's successor, Saul became jealous and plotted David's death. David's loyal friend Jonathan (Saul's son) is preparing to shoot three arrows as a warning to David who is hiding in a field. Jonathan's pose is directly derived from Michelangelo's 'David'.

Jonathan’s Token to David, c. 1868

Oil on canvasexpand_more

The John R. Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  74.71

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This painting illustrates a scene from the Old Testament. After the prophet Samuel anointed David as King Saul's successor, Saul became jealous and plotted David's death. Here the artist shows David's loyal friend Jonathan (Saul's son) preparing to shoot three arrows as a warning to David who is hiding in a field. Most artists who interpreted the story of Jonathan and David's friendship depicted the emotional climax when the two say their final farewells. Leighton chose an earlier scene in order to celebrate the ideal of heroic male beauty. Jonathan's pose derives from the famous Renaissance sculpture of David by Michelangelo.

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Frederick, Lord Leighton, Jonathan's Token to David (#724)
Details
Title
Jonathan’s Token to David
Artist Life
1830 - 1896
Role
Artist
Accession Number
74.71
Curator Approved

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Old Testament. After the prophet Samuel anointed David as King Saul's successor, Saul became jealous and plotted David's death. David's loyal friend Jonathan (Saul's son) is preparing to shoot three arrows as a warning to David who is hiding in a field. Jonathan's pose is directly derived from Michelangelo's 'David'.