Artemisia Gentileschi 1593 – 1656

Judith Beheading Holofernes (Naples)

oil on canvas (159 × 125 cm) — 1612 Museum Museo di Capodimonte, Naples

Artemisia Gentileschi biography

This work is linked to Judith 13:8

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The widow Judith and her maid have lured the enemy warlord Holofernes into letting them into his tent. While he sleeps Judith decapitates him. That would start a chain of events leading to the end of the siege of Judith's city.

Gentileschi made a very realistic and therefor bloody depiction of the scene.

It is a pretty composition. There is a nice triangle of figures, joined by their arms.

Judith's pose is somewhat similar to the one in Caravaggio's version of Judith and Holofernes (1599). It is not unlikely that the young Gentileschi saw that painting in Rome.

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