Ghirlandaio’s full name was Domenico di Tommaso di Currado di Doffo Bigordi. of course, he needed a nickname. but nothing too fancy. “Il Ghirlandaio” means garland-maker and came from Domenico’s father – a goldsmith who created metallic garland-like necklaces worn by Florentine women. i was hoping it had something to do with chocolate.
at the request of Pope Sixtus IV in 1483, Ghirlandaio contributed a wall fresco in the Sistine Chapel, Vocation of the Apostles. his real claim-to-fame: having Michelangelo among his many apprentices.
in this portrayal of the decampment, Ghirlandaio has the hapless Maid taking a significant risk with the basket atop her mop. significant risk because Holofernes’ dead head is both (a) extremely large and (b) extremely green. but it appears she has little choice because Judith is giving the Maid some sass. just look at her, with her hand on her hip and impatiently tapping her foot in those hideous red socks – again.
Judith: Okay, i know the head is getting gross and all, but could you please do something to keep it from smelling.
Maid: Er … what did you have in mind? We left the Febreeze back in Bethulia.
Judith: True. I don’t know how to staunch the stench. How about you put the basket on top of your head so at least the odor doesn’t fly in my face.
Maid: Top of my head? Seriously? What if the rotting slime leaks out of the basket?
Judith: (hand on hip) Yes, seriously. And don’t think I’m not doing my fair share. I AM carrying this heavy fauchion.
Maid: How could I forget the way you are waving it around with the pointy end in my direction.
Judith: (sternly) You had better watch your step, missy. That pointy end will be uncomfortably up your ass if you have to chase that head around when you trip and it rolls out.