Luca Jordano painted this gouache in the period of his early artistic maturity.
It is a possible sketch of the work Solomon King of Israel, part of the series of oil paintings on biblical themes produced for the now defunct hermitage of San Juan del Buen Retiro.
The original paintings, which are very similar to the scenes of El Escorial, constitute one of the most important cycles that GIORDANO made in Spain. In this image we find the theme told in Samuel, 16(1-13): "King Saul had sinned by disobeying God at the battle of Michmash, where he was supposed to destroy all the Amalekite enemies and did not. So God decided to withdraw his blessing and sent the prophet Samuel in search of a new "anointed one", a new king for Israel.
His destination was Bethlehem, where Jesse, a shepherd with his sons, lived. One of them was the chosen one and Samuel, as a prophet, had to know which one.
To avoid being punished by King Saul, the prophet excused himself by saying that he was on a journey to make a sacrifice. When he arrived at the house of Jesse, the prophet met seven of his eight sons, but none of them was anointed. When he asked if one was missing, Jesse called the youngest, David, and when the prophet saw him, he knew it was him.
There, in front of his father and older brothers, he anointed him as the future king of Israel.
And David was a wise and handsome man, with a red complexion and a pleasant appearance.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)