Judith takes the spotlight

21 Sep

The last Gentileschi. I’ll miss her.

This painting was produced during Artemesia’s time in Rome, after she left Florence – and her husband.  She had enjoyed highs and lows of success in Florence, being the first woman honored with the admission in the prestigious Accademia delle Arti del Disegno (Academy of the Arts of Drawing) along with Michelangelo, Bronzino, Vasari, Tintoretto and many other celebrated artists of the day.  Her mastery of chiaroscuro and tenebrism were likely acquired in Rome at this time, as are demonstrated in this artwork.

Artemesia Gentileshi, “Judith and her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes,” 1625, Oil on canvas, 72 3/8 x 55 3/4 in, Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, Michigan, USA

In this setting, Judith shields her face against a bright light coming from the left – presumably, the exit from the tent.  I hope she is finding an exit:  this movement from bloody bed to bag of meat and onto the road to Bethulia is taking a damn long time.  My nerves are frayed.

As we leave this scene with Artemesia (and her father), I will add some levity by sharing another take on Judith that derives from the artwork of the past few days.

deridolls, “Judith Beheading Holofernes,” October 2010,

Awwwwwwww.  Just what you want to snuggle with on a cold winter night.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Cacciatore


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