We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


David's first victory



William Strutt

England, Australia

03 Jul 1825 – 03 Jan 1915

Alternate image of David's first victory by William Strutt
Alternate image of David's first victory by William Strutt
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    United Kingdom
    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on canvas
    203.5 x 111.7 cm stretcher; 229.0 x 137.0 x 6.7 cm frame :

    SUPPORT, x x, stretcher dimensions

    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.l., "W. Strutt 1868".

    Purchased 1974
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    William Strutt

    Works in the collection


  • About

    William Strutt was one of the first artists in Australia to produce large-scale history paintings. He also painted religious subjects, exhibiting these works regularly at the Royal Academy after his return to England.

    A fine example of the latter, 'David’s first victory' portrays the biblical hero triumphant over the dead lion and bear, while bleating sheep and goats express their gratitude. Composed according to academic conventions, David stands at the apex of a triangle, its base formed by the lion’s body. Various studies were made for this painting, including a sketch of a lion and a bear made at the London Zoo in 1868.

    The painting’s conservation and new frame were generously supported by Hyperion Asset Management 2010–11.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    United Kingdom

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 7 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 11 publications

Other works by William Strutt

See all 13 works