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Titian: Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Titian 1487/90 – 1576

Judith with the Head of Holofernes

oil on canvas (89 × 73 cm) — c. 1515 Museum Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome

Titian biography

This work is linked to Judith 13:9

Judith had succeeded in luring the enemy warlord Holofernes into his tent, where she seized the opportunity to cut of his head while his guards were outside. Here she holds the head on a dish, as her servant looks at her with an almost adoring gaze.

It was long thought that Titian's painting depicted another biblical decapitation: that of St. John the Baptist. But the main figure in the painting looks so tempting that she has to be Judith, the attractive widow from Bethulia.

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