Eight years after the completion of Judith Beheading Holofernes, Artemisia settled in Naples. The Judith Slaying Holofernes painting depicts the moment when Judith, helped by her maid, beheads the drunken general Holofernes after he falls asleep. The two "suggest 'a crisis of the male ego', fears and violent fantasies all entangled with an eroticized death, which women and sexuality aroused in at least some men around the turn of the century. Judith and Holofernes is from Kehinde Wiley’s most recent body of work and his first series of paintings to feature female subjects.

Lyta: honestly if someone is creeped out by it they don’t deserve to be there. Later Renaissance artists, notably Lucas Cranach the Elder, who with his workshop painted at least eight Judiths, showed a more sexualized Judith, a "seducer-assassin": "the very clothes that had been introduced into the iconography to stress her chastity become sexually charged as she exposes the gory head to the shocked but fascinated viewer", in the words of art critic Jonathan Jones. He met the model for this painting, Treisha Lowe (who works as a prison guard at Rikers Island) at Fulton Mall, a pedestrian shopping street in downtown Brooklyn. [3][8] In Artemisia Gentileschi's painting Judith Slaying Holofernes (Naples), she demonstrates her knowledge of the Caravaggio Judith Slaying Holofernes of 1612; like Caravaggio, she chooses to show the actual moment of the killing. As in his earlier work, Wiley used “street casting” to find his models for this series. Artemisia Gentilleschi was in Florence from 1613 to 1620 and completed several paintings for the Medici Court. [12] Other prints were made by such artists as Jacques Callot. A tale of female revenge, power and solidarity. ‘Judith with the head of Holofernes’, Titian, 1570. The Book of Judith was accepted by Jerome as canonical and accepted in the Vulgate and was referred to by Clement of Rome in the late first century (1 Clement 55), and thus images of Judith were as acceptable as those of other scriptural women. His Judith is a luminous, serene beauty assisted by a black servant woman. [5] Early Renaissance images of Judith tend to depict her as fully dressed and desexualized; besides Donatello's sculpture, this is the Judith seen in Sandro Botticelli's The Return of Judith to Bethulia (1470–1472), Andrea Mantegna's Judith and Holofernes (1495, with a detached head), and in the corner of Michelangelo's Sistine chapel (1508–1512). It depicts the biblical character of Judith holding the severed head of Holofernes. But the emblem of Virtue is flawed, for the one bare leg appearing through a special slit in the dress evokes eroticism, indicates ambiguity and is thus a first allusion to Judith's future reversals from Mary to Eve, from warrior to femme fatale. Gentileschi painted the story of Judith and Holofernes twice. Francisco Goya, Judith and Holofernes (1819–23), Simon Vouet, Judith with the Head of Holophernes, Sarah Henrich, "Living on the Outside of Your Skin: Gustav Klimt and Tina Blondell Show Us Judith", in, "The Metamorphoses of Judith in Literature and Art: War by Other Means", "Judith with the Head of Holofernes, Lucas Cranach the Elder (c1530)", "Judging Artemisia: A Baroque Woman in Modern Art History", "Salome fordert den Kopf. There is a theory saying that Goya was bitterly disillusioned over the second restoration of Fernando VII … [20] Typical of his style, Wiley's Judith is surrounded by a pattern of brightly colored flowers and due to the brightness of her surroundings, it only later becomes apparent that she is holding the severed head of a white woman. Subjects combining sex and violence were also popular with collectors. It was, up until Gentileschi’s version, perhaps the most macabre version of … It used art as a tool to teach, to inspire, and to convert. Judith Slaying Holofernes is a painting by the Italian early Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi, completed in 1612-13 and now at the Museo Capodimonte, Naples, Italy. How was the Catholic Church going to achieve its goals? Unlike Caravaggio’s Judith and Holofernes, where Judith seems reluctant, Gentileschi’s Judith puts her muscle into the assassination. She would seek revenge on this patriarchal culture in the only way she knew: through her art. Judith’s elderly maidservant eagerly holds the bag that will soon contain Holofernes’ head. As a final note, it is interesting to compare Artemisia’s version with that of Caravaggio, done in 1598. When Artemisia Gentileschi painted Judith Slaying Holofernesin 1613, Italy was in the grips of the Counter Reformation. [21][22], Donatello, Judith and Holofernes, 1457–64, Sandro Botticelli, The Return of Judith to Bethulia, 1470, Andrea Mantegna, Judith and Holofernes, 1490s, Woodcut illustration for the Nuremberg Chronicles, 1493, Michelangelo, Judith carrying away the head of Holofernes, in the Sistine Chapel (1508–1512), Fede Galizia, Judith with the Head of Holofernes, 1596, Caravaggio, Judith Beheading Holofernes (c. 1598–1599), Giovanni Baglione, Judith and the Head of Holofernes (1608), Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes (c. 1625), Carlo Saraceni, Judith and the head of Holofernes (c. 1615), Antiveduto Grammatica, Judith with the Head of Holofernes (1620–1625). She, like Artemisia, is wary of the predations of men. Characterized by frank sensuality, the Klimt painting was different if compared to the same scene depicted by Giorgione, Botticelli and Caravaggio. The allegorical and exciting nature of the Judith and Holofernes scene continues to inspire artists. Like Lucretia, Judith was the subject of a disproportionate number of old master prints, sometimes shown nude. Aged 12, her father widowed, she became the matriarch of the family. For centuries, “Judith Beheading Holofernes” was a popular subject among European painters who wanted to depict a righteous woman cutting off the head of a brutal man. By this time, Goya was in his mid 70s and deeply disillusioned. In the late nineteenth century, Jean-Charles Cazin made a series of five paintings tracing the narrative and giving it a conventional, nineteenth-century ending; the final painting shows her "in her honoured old age", and "we shall see her sitting in her house spinning". Four centuries earlier, the Florentine courts similarly gossiped about the messy affair that inspired Allori’s Judith with the Head of Holofernes (1613). L’Enfant and The Planning of Washington, D.C. How Northern England Made the Southern United States. The same story has also been painted by artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Donatello, Artemesia Gentileshi, Giorgione, and Andrea Mantegna. To sum up the story, Holofernes, an Assyrian general and our dastardly villain, was tasked by the king to destroy Judith’s hometown, the city of Bethulia. Judith and Holofernes is the name given to one of the 14 Black Paintings painted by Francisco de Goya between 1819 and 1823. The artist had painted his lover, Maria di Giovanni Mazzafirri, known as La Mazzafirra, as the beguiling but pious widow Judith. As an example of virtue overcoming vice, the subject was quite popular among Old Masters, a typical example is Judith Beheading Holofernes by Caravaggio . But Tassi’s friends in high papal places pulled strings. The first time was shortly after her rape by landscape artist Agostino Tassi at the age of 17, and the second when she was commissioned to recreate the work for the Grand Duke of Tuscany. The painting represents the theme of Judith and Holofernes, a story described in the Old Testament. The ecstatic expression on the face of Judith, her tense fingers passionately clutching the severed head of Holofernes, and her shamelessly naked body shocked the residents of Vienna. When Klimt tackles the biblical theme of Judith, the historical course of art has already codified its main interpretation and preferential representation. Judith and the Head of Holofernes (also known as Judith I) is an oil painting by Gustav Klimt created in 1901. Franz Stuck's 1928 Judith has "the deliverer of her people" standing naked and holding a sword besides the couch on which Holofernes, half-covered by blue sheets[15]—where the text portrays her as god-fearing and chaste, "Franz von Stuck's Judith becomes, in dazzling nudity, the epitome of depraved seduction. This is a biblical subject- Zucker: Old testament. "[16], In 1997, Russian artists Vitaliy Komar and Alexander Melamed painted a Judith on the Red Square that "casts Stalin in the Holofernes role, conquered by a young Russian girl who contemplates his severed head with a mixture of curiosity and satisfaction". In the late nineteenth century, Jean-Charles Cazin made a series of five paintings tracing the narrative and giving it a conventional, nineteenth-century ending; the final painting shows her "in her honoured old age", and "we shall see her sitting in her house spinning". © Copyright 2020 History Today Ltd. Company no.

Judith Beheading Holofernes is a painting of Judith beheading Holofernes by Caravaggio, painted in c.1599-1599. The dramatic scene is based on the Biblical story from the apocryphal Book of Judith in the Old Testament, which narrates the assassination of the Assyrian general Holofernes by the Israelite heroine Judith. Other articles where Judith Beheading Holofernes is discussed: Artemisia Gentileschi: …never attempted by her father), Judith Beheading Holofernes (c. 1612–13; c. 1620). Barthel Beham engraved three compositions of the subject, and other of the "Little Masters" did several more. As mentioned above, Artemisia painted at least one other (fairly similar) version of this story - now in the Capodimonte Museum, Naples - as well as Judith and her Maidservant (1612-13) at the Pitti Palace, Florence . 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. She was raped by Tassi, and, when he did not fulfill his promise to marry her, Orazio Gentileschi in 1612 brought him to trial. Let’s compare it with one painted in 1596 by Fede Galizia, a Milanese painter. During that event she herself was forced to give evidence under torture. It is considered one of her iconic works. "[3] Italian painters including Caravaggio, Leonello Spada, and Bartolomeo Manfredi depicted Judith and Holofernes; and in the north, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, and Eglon van der Neer[7] used the story. In the late Renaissance, Judith changed considerably, a change described as a "fall from grace"—from an image of Mary she turns into a figure of Eve. [17] In 1999, American artist Tina Blondell rendered Judith in watercolour; her I'll Make You Shorter by a Head [18] is explicitly inspired by Klimt's Judith I, and part of a series of paintings called Fallen Angels. In the story, Judith, a beautiful widow, is able to enter the tent of Holofernes because of his desire for her. It is also tempting to presume that Goya may have known Adam Elsheimer's depiction of Judith and Holofernes, (painted circa 1601-3, oil on silvered copper, measuring 24.2 x 18.7cm.). The crescent, the symbol of Artemis, patron and protector of young girls, which Artemisia used repeatedly, is all that remains clearly visible of the head of the richly draped Judith, who is never depicted without a weapon (memories of Caravaggio, perhaps?). Baroque art was not only decorative, but it was also propaganda. About. Antonio Gionima, Judith Presenting Herself to Holofernes (1720s). However, a Northern tradition developed whereby Judith had both a maid and a charger, famously taken by Erwin Panofsky as an example of the knowledge needed in the study of iconography. Judith and Holofernes Paintings. While many of the above paintings resulted from private patronage, important paintings and cycles were made also by church commission and were made to promote a new allegorical reading of the story—that Judith defeats Protestant heresy. Judith and Holofernes Artist Donatello Year 1460 Medium Bronze Location Palazzo Vecchio, Florence Dimensions 93 in 236 cm Famous Artwork by Donatello Saint Mark Zuccone The Feast of Herod David Equestrian statue of Gattamelata Judith and Holofernes Judith and Holofernes is a bronze sculpture created by the Renaissance Italian painter and sculpture known as Donatello. The story was quite popular with Klimt and his contemporaries, and he painted Judith I in 1901, as a dreamy and sensual woman with open shirt. The widow Judith first charms the Syrian general Holofernes, then decapitates him in his tent. But the masterstroke of this particular composition is the complicity of her maidservant Abra, who stuffs the grimly green head of Holofernes into the bag as the pair seek their escape from the Assyrian enemy. Judith and Holofernes was likely painted on the first floor, beside the famous Saturn Devouring His Son. When Artemisia was 13, the turbulent Caravaggio, her greatest and most enduring artistic influence, had to flee Rome, having stabbed a man to death in a brawl: Caravaggio, a man of the streets and alleys and a connoisseur of low life, always carried a dagger. Abra, the maidservant of Judith, a Jewish widow renowned for her beauty and charm, wraps the severed head of the Assyrian general Holofernes in a bag. The tale is told in the Old Testament Book of Judith. That painting was sold from the estate of Sir Peter Paul Rubens to King Philip IV, and remained in Spain until taken as booty in 1813 by the 1st Duke of Wellington (now in the Wellington Museum, Apsley House, … Overcome with drink, he passes out and is decapitated by Judith; his head is taken away in a basket (often depicted as being carried by an elderly female servant). Artemisia was then given lessons by another artist, another friend of her well-connected father, highly regarded in his day, Agostino Tassi. The story of Judith and Holofernes was very popular and had been represented in paintings and engravings since the middle ages. One of the most impressive paintings of the Baroque era "Judith decapitation Holofernes" Of Artemisia Gentileschi – in strength and naturalistic performance surpasses even the painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.Probably, it's not just that Artemisia was incredibly talented as a painter, but in the fact that the basis of the picture on the hard-won, deeply personal experience. Judith, a beautiful widow, charms and befriends Holofernes and is allowed into Holofernes… "[14], Modern paintings of the scene often cast Judith nude, as was signalled already by Klimt. Judith Beheading Holofernes – The painting found in Toulouse These two characters lived in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, in the 6th century B.C. Gentileschi was not the first to paint the scene – but she was the first to imbue it with violence, splattering the canvas with blood. Judith lived in Betulia, a city assaulted by the Assyrian troops, led by Holofernes. painted Judith on the Red Square,with Stalin’s severed head in the role of Holofernes, and a little girl whose face is concealed by a shadow as Judith. Artemisia painted two versions of this particularly gory Judith Beheading Holofernes scene, a decade apart—along with a number of other scenes featuring Judith and Abra, her maid. This painting, now in Detroit, Michigan, is one of four devoted to this subject by the Italian Baroque artist, Artemisia Gentileschi: the others are in Florence, Naples and Cannes. Was Thomas Becket a Saint or an Arrogant Troublemaker? For more, see: Neapolitan School of Painting (1600-56). By this time, Goya was in his mid 70s and deeply disillusioned. Holofernes was an Assyrian general who was about to destroy Judith's home, the city of Bethulia. Before you get too agitated, male readers, please note that #notallmen are getting their heads cut off in the following paintings, just Holofernes. The account of the beheading of Holofernes by Judith is given in the deuterocanonical Book of Judith, and is the subject of many paintings and sculptures from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The art historian Letizia Treves judged that, with this work ‘Artemisia rightly takes her place among the leading artists of the Baroque’. He was cleared of the allegations and Artemisia left Rome, with the shadow of shame and dishonour hanging over her, to travel throughout Italy, mastering her prodigious skills. In 1612, when she was 17, he was accused of raping her. Especially in Germany an interest developed in female "worthies" and heroines, to match the traditional male sets. Caravaggio, like her a master of chiaroscuro, was a close friend of her father Orazio, also a painter: being the daughter of an artist was one of the few entry points to the profession for a woman of the time. All judith and holofernes paintings ship within 48 hours and include a 30-day money-back guarantee. Caravaggio’s Mastery If the painting exists to extol the Jewish heroine, it also exists to showcase Caravaggio’s mastery of chiaroscuro and the expressiveness that can be found in the human face and body. Harris: This is the painting that's most often reproduced by Artemisia, the subject is Judith and Holofernes. He has been murdered, brutally, by Judith, immediately after she had seduced him. 1556332. Judith Beheading Holofernes is a painting of the biblical episode by Caravaggio, painted in c. 1598–1599 or 1602. Judith saved her people by vanquishing an adversary she described as not just one heathen but 'all unbelievers' (Jdt 13:27); she thus stood as an ideal agent of anti-heretical propaganda."[10]. Judith beheading Holofernes (c.1598) CARAVAGGIO In 2012, American artist Kehinde Wiley Artists have mainly chosen one of two possible scenes (with or without the servant): the decapitation, with Holofernes supine on the bed, or the heroine holding or carrying the head, often assisted by her maid. The Catholic Church had lost huge masses of followers to the Protestant faiths in the last century, and it needed to initiate damage control and regain lost followers. On the right-hand wall in the second room of the exhibition hang two huge paintings of the same Old Testament story, Judith Beheading Holofernes. This is a painting made by Titian towards the end of his life. His Judith II (1909) is "less erotic and more frightening". This Judith and Holofernesone of the 14 Black Paintings painted by Francisco de Goya between 1819 and 1823. In early Christianity, however, images of Judith were far from sexual or violent: she was usually depicted as "a type of the praying Virgin or the church or as a figure who tramples Satan and harrows Hell," that is, in a way that betrayed no sexual ambivalence: "the figure of Judith herself remained unmoved and unreal, separated from real sexual images and thus protected. Kunstbuch: Joachims Nagels, "I'll Make You Shorter by a Head (Judith I)", "Outsource to China – While riffing on the Western canon. The allegorical and exciting nature of the Judith and Holofernes scene continues to inspire artists. One of Gentileschi’s Judith paintings, produced around 1615, was to travel from Italy for the London exhibition. The propaganda included images of good conquer… Judith remained popular in the Baroque period, but around 1600, images of Judith began to take on a more violent character, "and Judith became a threatening character to artist and viewer. His victim had links to the papal court. Judith and Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes is the least blood-soaked and violent, though perhaps the most furtive, of the four compositions she created on this theme. "[5] Other Italian painters of the Renaissance who painted the theme include Botticelli, Titian, and Paolo Veronese. [6] This transition, from a desexualized image of Virtue to a more sexual and aggressive woman, is signaled in Giorgione's Judith (c. 1505): "Giorgione shows the heroic instance, the triumph of victory by Judith stepping on Holofernes's severed, decaying head. With one painted in 1596 by Fede Galizia, a city assaulted by Assyrian! 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