Judith without identification

15 Apr

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot , “Judith,” c. 1872, Oil on canvas, 105.5 x 62.2 cm, Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was the leading painter of the Barbizon school of France in the mid-19th century and a predecessor of the Impressionists.   One of his favorite subjects was mixing peasant figures with mythological creatures, mixing Neoclassicism with Realism.  His earliest success was a Biblical study, Agar dans le desert (Hagar in the Wilderness, 1835), which depicted Sarah’s handmaiden and her child Ishmael, dying of thirst in the desert until saved by an angel.  And nearly 40 years later, he returned to a Biblical character with Judith.

Although, how do we know it is Judith?   There is no severed head, no fauchion, no maid, no name tag.   But if Corot says it is Judith, it must be Judith.

At least it’s not Salome.

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Posted by on April 15, 2012 in Distracted


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