Judith and the bloody stump

09 Aug

This is the earilest bloody stump I could find, showing the completion of Judith’s labor.

But there are many more bloody stumps to come.   Because we are now entering the section tagged “detachment” — in which the head is initially removed from the body.   Therefore, inclusion in this section requires both the head and the body to be portrayed.   And this proved to be a very popular depiction, for some sadistic reason.

Diebold Lauber, “Title page to the Book of Judith,” 1441-49, pen & colored ink, 15.5 x 19 cm, German Bible, Heidelberg University Library, Heidelberg, Germany

This page comes from the workshop of Diebold Lauber, one of the most successful printing operations of the time.   Located in the Haguenau (Germany), the workshop produced about 80 illustrated manuscripts, including scholarly writings and illustrated copies of medieval literature.  In contrast to other illuminated manuscripts in which the illustration was part of the text, Lauber often placed the illustrations on a separate page from the text.

Once again referring to my disclaimer, not only do I not speak French but neither do I speak German — which makes research on this subject rather difficult.    So I will do what comes naturally and lapse back into pictures.
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Book of Judith, Chapter 13

9 And tumbled his body down from the bed, and pulled down the canopy from the pillars; and anon after she went forth, and gave Holofernes his head to her maid;

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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Gory


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