Judith makes a move, part 2

07 Jul

José Teófilo de Jesus was a Brazilian artist – probably the only one in this gallery.  His style is described as  hybrid with elements of the previous century Baroque and Rococo along with Classical components.  He spent a few early years in Portugal, but the remainder of his working life was in Brazil painting churches and private chapels.

Looks like hybrid is synonymous with foo-foo paintings.

Jose Teofilo de Jesus, “Judith and Holofernes,” 1835, Oil on canvas, 47.5 × 64 cm. Museu de Arte da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil

This time Judith is on her knees and Holofernes is on his feet – but they both have the waving arms again.   This setting differs in that (a) Holofernes has visible back-up with his soldiers and (b) Judith does not have visible back-up from her maid.   Compared to Marchesi, this Judith conveys vulnerability as opposed to conceit.  And this Holofernes is not as hospitable since he is wearing his armor and helmet.   PLUS there is a bed in the background.  Like a Bachelor Pad from a Doris Day movie. And the bed is screaming: FORESHADOWING.

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Book of Judith, Chapter 10

1 NOW after that she had ceased to cry unto the God of Israel, and bad made an end of all these words.
2 She rose where she had fallen down, and called her maid, and went down into the house in the which she abode in the sabbath days, and in her feast days,
3 And pulled off the sackcloth which she had on, and put off the garments of her widowhood, and washed her body all over with water, and anointed herself with precious ointment, and braided the hair of her head, and put on a tire upon it, and put on her garments of gladness, wherewith she was clad during the life of Manasses her husband.
4 And she took sandals upon her feet, and put about her her bracelets, and her chains, and her rings, and her earrings, and all her ornaments, and decked herself bravely, to allure the eyes of all men that should see her.
5 Then she gave her maid a bottle of wine, and a cruse of oil, and filled a bag with parched corn, and lumps of figs, and with fine bread; so she folded all these things together, and laid them upon her.
6 Thus they went forth to the gate of the city of Bethulia, and found standing there Ozias and the ancients of the city, Chabris and Charmis.
7 And when they saw her, that her countenance was altered, and her apparel was changed, they wondered at her beauty very greatly, and said unto her.
8 The God, the God of our fathers give thee favour, and accomplish thine enterprizes to the glory of the children of Israel, and to the exaltation of Jerusalem. Then they worshipped God.
9 And she said unto them, Command the gates of the city to be opened unto me, that I may go forth to accomplish the things whereof ye have spoken with me. So they commanded the young men to open unto her, as she had spoken.
10 And when they had done so, Judith went out, she, and her maid with her; and the men of the city looked after her, until she was gone down the mountain, and till she had passed the valley, and could see her no more.

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Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Story


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