In Judaism[ edit ] Although it was likely written by a Jewish person during the Second Temple periodthere is no evidence that the Book of Judith was ever considered authoritative or a candidate for canonicity by any Jewish group. Indeed, taken as a whole, and informed by even contemporary Jewish practices, this narrative does not really seem to relate to the sexual deviancy of a scheming Jewish woman but rather the spiritual possibilities of walking humbly in the ways of G-d cf.
Caravaggio has painted a magnificent Holofernes, muscled, strong, powerful. His horrified face is the attention-grabbing focus of this picture. Judith, on the other hand, slices his neck with a look of mild distaste, as if she is carving the Sunday roast. The colors, harmonious composition and shading of the painting are superb, as we would expect from Caravaggio.
But magnificent as the painting is, it does not convey the ghastly horror of the event. Close-ups of the painting show that the brooch in her hair is a picture of a warrior, perhaps the biblical David who is the male equivalent of Judith.
Her gorgeous robe has fallen away from her body and her hair is disarranged, but she seems calm, oblivious of her surroundings, almost in shock.
In fact, it is Judith. Though it is an archetypal Art Nouveau painting, there are many similarities with Old Master images of Judith: She holds the head of Holofernes in her left hand, ready to drop it in the bag held by her maid.
The darkness of the painting suggests the secretive nature of what they are doing, the need for stealth. In reality it is unlikely that Judith was as calm as she appears in this picture, but there is an unexpected touch of realism in the way the maid holds the bag.
She grips one point between her teeth and makes an opening by holding two other points with her hands — just the way you would to make an opening for a large round object, be it a cabbage or a human head.
There are only subtle indications of the violent murder that has just occurred: Now the fearful women stop to listen, to see if an alarm has been raised.
Orazio Gentileschi seems to have been more interested in the woman themselves than in the violent crime they had committed. These two women are not idealized beauties but real people, both with their own personalities and agendas. This makes the painting sharply different from many of the others completed at that time, and may have something to do with the rape of his daughter Artemisia Gentileschi — a real person to her father, not just an unnamed victim of crime.
Her expression is strange — dazed, almost detached. She and her servant Alba are placing the severed head in a basket. An unusual feature of the painting is the black servant who stands behind Judith, looking up at her. Here, in the moment of dying, he presses his right hand up against his assailant, attempting to fight her off.
This painting was made at about the time that Artemisia Gentileschi was raped by her tutor, the Tuscan painter Agostino Tassi. There is obviously a certain amount of personal relish in the painting, with underlying themes of castration and impotency. The story of Judith doubtless appealed to Gentileschi, depicting as it did the triumph of female guile over male force.
A rather winsome Judith has grasped the head by its hair and is moving away from the couch. Her maid looks back in horror at the body. Judith seems remarkably tranquil in the circumstances, while her maid registers shock and horror.
What we can see of it is distorted and writhing, the head quite separate from the body — altogether, a figure of horror. But they seem to have heard something, and pause, waiting to see if they have been discovered. If they have, they know they will die too. The tension of the scene is almost palpable.
Danger is close as Judith and her maid Abra gather up the severed head of Holofernes, preparing to flee from the enemy camp, back to safety in Bethulia.
We can almost smell and feel their fear. Her maid leans anxiously towards her, protectively, urging the dazed Judith to move with more speed. The head of Holofernes is said to be a portrait of the artist, and the woman in the picture was modeled on his mistress, a famous beauty called Mazzafirra.
Perhaps it is a comment on the balance of power within their own relationship — she having conquered him and now holding him helpless in her grip.
His face is already drained of color, a dramatic contrast to the rich material of her robe. If you are looking for subtlety, walk on by.
Cranach the Elder is not your man.Description According to the Book of Judith in the Catholic Old Testament, the virtuous widow Judith saved her people when the military commanders failed to lift a siege by the Assyrians. She beguiled the enemy General Holofernes into getting drunk and cut off his head.
Judith has cut off the head of Holofernes and now picks it up by its hair, to lower into the bag held by her maid Abra. This is a painting made by Titian towards the end of his life.
His Judith is a luminous, serene beauty assisted by a black servant woman. The head of Holofernes is truly terrifying, a dark and gruesome trophy for the Judean. Genital mutilation of young girls is barbaric and insane.
Nov 19th Policy for progress: ending FGM and forced marriage. The Home Secretary spoke to attendees at the International Conference on Ending FGM (female genital mutilation) and Forced Marriage.
Slip into something celebratory! Crafted of sterling silver, these radiant earrings flaunt a prong-set birthstone surrounded by four Diamonique(R) simulated diamonds and a lush, rope-textured border. It depicts Judith, an admirably courageous Jewish woman, cutting off the head of a foreign general who had been ordered to conquer the Jews.
She was only a common, simple widow woman, but she defeated a powerful general. Go Back to the Main Page of The Great Wall.
How It Happened. In , the Army Corps of Engineers contacted Judith F. Baca about the possibility of creating a mural in the flood control channel as part of a beautification project that included a mini‑park and bicycle path.