Honestly … this picture is skeevy.
I have looked at it from several angles and there can be no doubt: The Maid is on the verge of kissing Judith! And she appears to be going for the lips!!
If these women are lesbian lovers, no problem. But Judith’s expression is so detached, as if to say to the viewer “This really wasn’t what I had in mind but what am I supposed to do?”
Plus The Maid has her left arm around Judith’s back — with the hand on Judith’s shoulder, pinning her in place. And the right hand holding Holofernes’ nose with a finger stuck in his dead eye. WTF!! Does she have some kind of sexual thing for dead heads?!
If you can interpret this scene in a different way, let me know. I would like to think the maid is merely —
(a) congratulating Judith and trying to relieve her of the burden of the head OR
(b) checking Judith’s nose for boogers before they leave the tent
But those descriptions require me to overlook numerous oddities.
Or maybe I am adding a 21st century interpretation to a scene that depicts typical behavior for a maid in Baroque Italy. I would just like to see Judith be a little happier about it.