An image of David's first victory

William Strutt

(England, Australia 03 Jul 1825 – 03 Jan 1915)

David's first victory

Not on display
Further information

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.

Place of origin
United Kingdom
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
Accession number