Judith stays calm and cool

14 Sep

We are starting the **SuperStar** group of paintings about Judith today.   The Gentileschi’s are here.

Orazio Gentileschi was the father of Artemesia Gentileschi and a friend of (insert trumpets here) Caravaggio. He was part of the notorious feud with Baglione, but we will save that for the tabloids.

Orazio Gentileshi, “Judith and Her Maidservant,” 1608-1609, Nasjonalgalleriat, Oslo, Norway

In his artistic style, Gentileschi was influenced by (insert trumpets hereCaravaggio – although the effect waned over time.  He was patronized by both Marie de Medici, queen consort of France, and Charles I of England, so obviously he traveled in high falootin’ circles.

This is not one of his best know works, but it is an excellent rendering among the portrayals of Judith.   The tension between Judith and the maid is deftly conveyed as they both turn toward something off to the right.  A sound?  A movement?   Although we only see the maid from the back, it is obvious she is nervous as she twists unnaturally at the waist.  Not even half her face is visible but her posture implies that her expression is one of worry and anxiety.  Although Judith appears to be calm and in control, she grasps the maid’s shoulder to comfort her – because a false move could be dangerous.

Just chill, girl.   let’s find that bag of meat, dump the head in it, and use our clever cover-up to get the hell outa here.   oh … and thanks for the advice on the red dress.   fewer incriminating stains.    but does it make my butt look big?

Orazio painted this duo again, either because (a) he liked the subject,  (b) he was dissatisfied with this painting, or  (c) someone paid him.

But we can savor this Gentileschi now and look at that work in a few days.

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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Cacciatore


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