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Caravaggio: Judith Beheading Holofernes

Caravaggio 1573 – 1610

Judith Beheading Holofernes

oil on canvas (145 × 195 cm) — ca. 1599 Museum Palazzo Barberini, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome

Caravaggio biography

This work is linked to Judith 13:8

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Clearly and harshly drawn figures characterize this gruesome scene. The servant holds the bag as Judith cuts off the head of Holophernes, the leader of the enemy troops.

In an earlier version, Judith's breasts were visible. Caravaggio later added the blouse.

Caravaggio made several other paintings showing decapitations.

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