Saturday, November 10, 2007

Judith chopping the head of Holofernes

Why did so many painters, especially the classical ones, have a thing for Judith chopping the head of Holofernes? This grisly scene was one of the most frequently painted by Italian Renaissance and Baroque artists. The subject is from the apocryphal Book of Judith, the Old Testament heroine of the Jews in their struggle against oppression.
It describes a wise and attractive Jewish woman who contrives a plan to save her besieged city (Bethulia) from the Assyrians. With her maid, Judith pretends to desert her town and visits the Assyrian general, Holofernes, in his encampment in the pretence to offer assistance in the siege of the city . Invited to spend the night, Judith instead takes advantage of Holofernes' drunkenness and, while he sleeps, cuts off his head.
All i can say is i came across pages of them so here are some..from top
Jean Cousin, 1590?
Luca Cranach 1530,
Massimo Stanzione 1640,
Johan Liss,
Hans Sebald Beham
Christofano Allori 1613,
Gustav Klimt,
Carlo Saraceni 1620,
Caravaggio 1698,
Artemisia Gentileschi 1620,
Aegidius Sadeler,
Anon 19th cent.

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