Judith meets Jenny

14 Dec

This dark depiction of Judith is the work of Antal Haan, a Hungarian artist who moved to Italy (1849), Hungary (1863) and then back to Italy (1873). He completed this piece during his time in Italy.

To turn a phrase: you can take the artist out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the artist.   Because to me, the interesting aspect of this painting is the embroidered Hungarian peasant blouse that Judith is wearing – in contrast to the satin gowns, velvet drapes or no-clothes-at-all in other portrayals.

Antal Haan, “Judith And Holofernes,” 1853, Oil on canvas, 135.5 x 100 cm, Wosinsky Mór County Museum, Szekszárd, Hungary

You may ask: so what does it matter if she is wearing a Hungarian peasant blouse?

To any girl who grew up during the Hippie Years, a Hungarian peasant blouse evokes instant recognition.   It screams youth movement, Woodstock, anti-establishment, power-to-the-people, Haight-Asbury, free love.   And even if you were not a girl in the Hippie Years, you probably remember Jenny Curran from Forrest Gump as she jumped into the pool at the Mall.

And this is what she wore: a Hungarian peasant blouse.   So now you see: Judith is a Hippie chick.

Jenny’s Hippie Dress from “Forrest Gump” (1994)

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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in Cacciatore


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