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Lucas Cranach the Elder: Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Lucas Cranach the Elder 1472 – 1553

Judith with the Head of Holofernes

oil on panel (77 × 56 cm) — 1530 Museum Burrell Collection, Glasgow

Lucas Cranach the Elder biography

This work is linked to Judith 13:9

Judith proudly presents the head of the enemy warlord Holofernes.

It is work of extremes. On the one hand is beautiful Judith, dressed to the fashion of Cranach's days. She is set against a background with a calm landscape. On the other hand are the horrible details of the act she just committed: the veins in the neck of the Assyrian and the blood on the sword.

Cranach made at least five paintings on this subject, all showing Judith and the head in a similar pose. This panel is in Glasgow, others are in New York (Met) and Vienna (KHM), amongst others.

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