Judith slaying holofernes

We know she had left England byand that by she was back in Naples, where she enjoyed good relations with the important collector Don Antonio Ruffo of Messina who became one of her patrons during this second Neapolitan period. The subject takes an episode from the apocryphal Book of Judith in the Old Testamentwhich recounts the assassination of the Assyrian general Holofernes by the Israelite heroine Judith.

Neapolitan School of Painting c. Naples and England Inin search of more lucrative commissions, Artemisia travelled south to Naples, home of the Neapolitan Spaniard Jusepe Riberawhere she remained for the rest of her life, except for brief trips to London and a few other places.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. It also needs time to dry in order to be completely ready for shipping. The faces of the three people are illuminated against a dark background. The painting should not be made too hastily, nor should any deadlines be pursued.

Gentileschi's biographer Mary Garrard famously proposed an autobiographical reading of the painting, stating that it functions as "a cathartic expression of the artist's private, and perhaps repressed, rage. What then constitutes the similarity and difference between these paintings and how is it possible to rework certain fixed symbols such as two women, a severed heada swordbag and splattered blood into visual artworks that are so diverse temporally, spatiallypsychologically and in terms of technique.

Both virtue and liberty are also meanings present in this statue. The scene has been depicted by a range of artists through the year, but never better than by Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian baroque painter who used the piece to take back the power that her attacker threatened to take away, as Judith did when slaying Holofernes.

The painting is dark and dramatic, as was the Baroque trend of the time. Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi is, therefore, not framed, and will be sent to you rolled up and packaged in a strong and secure postal tube.

Florence InArtemisia Gentileschi was married to the Florentine artist Pierantonio Stiattesi, and not long afterwards moved with him to Florence.


For it seems as if it is requiring a huge physical effort on the part of Judith to make the sword slice through the head of Holofernessuggesting a subtle feminine frailty in Judith that the artist must have had in mind regarding her.

Today, he is remembered not as an artist, but as a rapist. Instead of securing lucrative commissions for altarpiece works, she was reduced to producing commercial portrait art and expressive Biblical heroines. She also decorated the ceiling of the gallery at the Casa Buonarroti - built to commemorate Michelangelo - with a fresco of the Allegory of the Inclination, whose subject purportedly bears a close resemblance to Artemisia.

The problem arises because neither did Salome carry out the decapitation herselfnor is Judith supposed to possess a charger. The faces of the three characters demonstrate the artist's mastery of emotion, Judith's countenance in particular showing a mix of determination and repulsion.

Gustav Klimt also painted a Judith holding the head of Holofernes in his famous gilt-laden style. The leaders of the city consider surrender, but Judith refuses to let her neighbours die.

What is evoked is not raw physical strength, but a sense of haste and urgency as the two figures realise they need to reach Bethulia as quickly as possible.

Artwork of the Week: Judith Slaying Holofernes

For the painting to acquire high quality and precision of detail, time is necessary. Instead, they suggest that the figure was conceived as something fancy and decorative that would provide ,effectively, a pleasing and colourful surface design.

Like the others, it is his rendering of a specific time and that one startling detail that makes the painting stand out.

Judith beheading Holofernes

Rather, it is like a portrait of a woman with her trophy, as if the painter was commissioned to paint this woman who flaunts her prize and poses for the artist as he swiftly captures her victory.

So althoughlike Caravaggio, Gentileschi adds a hint of frailty in the women when compared to men, what she also does is incorporate an explicit image of female understanding where women are allies against a world of lustful men who do not hesitate to violate them, knowing that they may very well get away with it.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith beheading Holofernes,oil on canvas, x cm Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples ; and right: The Time it Takes to be Created: Her reputation as one of the important contributors to Baroque art has been considerably enhanced in the eyes of Feminists by her apparent independence of thought.

Thus no surface area is left empty. Judith's maid Abra stands beside her mistress to the right as Judith extends her arm to hold a blade against Holofernes's neck; lying on his stomach, neck contorted as he turns his head towards his assassin, he is vulnerable.

Small but significant adjustments reveal her growth in technical skill, her awareness of the local Florentine taste for sumptuous fabrics, and her thoughtful consideration of the expressive potential of each detail. The Uffizi Judith Slaying Holofernes is Artemisia’s second telling of this narrative.

The first, executed in Rome c. and now in the Capodimonte Museum in Naples (below, left), introduced the dynamic composition centered on the thrust and counter thrust of extended limbs.

Judith is a Jewish widow who ingratiates herself with the invading general Holofernes, waits for him to fall asleep, and then hacks his head off and takes it home with her (thus thwarting the entire invasion, because the Assyrians evidently had no Plan B if Holofernes was killed.

Judith and Holofernes can currently be viewed at the Hall of Lilies in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy, which is also the sculptor’s birthplace. The Artwork The statue itself portrays Judith, the heroine from the Book of Judith, assassinating Assyrian general Holofernes.

The intense violence of the slaying, the lack of decorative details and even Judith's stiff parallel arms are all reliant on Caravaggio. Artemisia probably also knew Adam Elsheimer's Judith Beheading Holofernes (Victoria and Albert Museum, London), which was owned by Rubens.

• Revenge/justice - face based on Artemisia's rapist, Judith seduced Holofernes & slayed him vs. Artemisia slaying her rapist, murder of the evil/enemy, Holofernes naked -> exposed -> Artemisia depicting justice for sexual abuse, exposing Tassi for his crime.

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Gentileschi, Judith and Holofernes Judith slaying holofernes
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Artemisia Gentileschi: Italian Baroque Painter, Caravaggist