Monthly Archives: May 2012

Judith needs a shave

attributed to Jacques Bellange, “Judith and her servant,” 17th century, Oil on canvas, 114 x 104 cm, Musee des Beaux Arts, Dole, France

Holy Cannoli, Batman!

  • This tenebrism is not doing Judith any favors:  ever hear of a five o’clock shadow?
  • Plus, is she wearing a patka?
  • Add to that the teasing manner in which she is untying her bodice to expose her perky breasts.
  • With the old maid holding a candle on the entire scene.

It all adds up to Come on, Robin, to the Bat Cave!  There’s not a moment to lose!

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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Whorey


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Judith is still the pits

Maid:   And when you stop by Walgreens for that deodorant, pick up some razors.

Douglas Fir, “Judith with Holofernes Head and that of an unfortunate foot soldier passing by,” 2001, Digital art, 14 x 11 in,

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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Cacciatore


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Judith is the pits

Il Faenzone (Ferra Fenzoni), “Judith with the Head of Holofernes,” Oil on canvas, 100 x 90 cm, private collection

Judith:   The soldiers are coming!!  Quick! Hide!!

Maid:     Where?

Judith:   Under this basket with Holofernes’ head.

Maid:     I’m pretty sure it’s not big enough.

Judith:   Fine, i’ll cover it with this cloth.

Maid:     Still not big enough.

Judith:   FINE, then under my armpit.

Maid:     Sure that works great.   I’m certain the soldiers will never suspect a thing as long as you point that sword in the air.  And if we make it back to Bethulia, remind me to buy you a different deodorant.

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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Cacciatore


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Now for something completely different (XLI)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A little country twang for Judy:  Marty Robbins from the Grand Ole Opry.

Marty Robbins
You came down out of Heaven to make me happy, dear
To smile away my sorrows and kiss away my tears
Seems that I have loved you though we’ve never met before
But now you’re in my heart, love, to stay for evermore

You’re my angel, Judy, you’re my darlin’
You’re the sweetest flower that Heaven ever grew
My arms could never hold another’
Cause my love is only for you

The nights were dark and lonely the days were lonely too
But now they’re all so bright, love, cause all I see is you
You came into my heart, love, from out of empty space
With a song upon your lips, dear, with a smile upon your face

You’re my angel, Judy, you’re my darlin’
You’re the sweetest flower that Heaven ever grew
My arms could never hold another ‘Cause my love is only for you


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Judith goes exploring (xxiv)

Those loose ends.

Day 165:  Leaving CVG late in the day, I can connect to a 11 hour plus 2 hour flight to …

Day 166:  … Salvador, Brazil (SSA) that arrives mid-day.   Known as Brazil’s capital of happiness due to its easy going population and countless popular outdoor parties, Salvador is a World Heritage Site due to the Pelourinho, renowned for Portuguese colonial architecture dating from the 17th to 19th centuries.

Because they open late and close early, might as well make the first the first stop  Museu de Arte da Bahia.   In an attractive neo-colonial building, the museum showcases works from Bahian artists, with paintings by José Teófilo de Jesus – including Judith and Holofernes.

Mon – closed:   Tues-Fri:  2pm to 7pm;   Sat-Sun:  2:30pm to 6:30pm

And then check into Pousada Poesia on the sea so I can enjoy waking up there.

Day 167:   The direct Azul flight from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is 2 hours mid-day.   Gives me time to find the JW Marriott on Copacabana Beach to start earning points.

Day 168:   The destination here is Museu Nacional de Belas Artes – with the most comprehensive collection of Brazilian painting including the French Artistic Mission, 19th and early 20th centuries painting.   Among the Brazilian artists are several works by Pedro Américo, including Judith.

Mon – closed;    Tue-Fri:  9am to 6pm;     Sat-Sun: 12am to 5pm

Plenty of time to enjoy the sights of Rio before a departure at …

Day 169:  … 2am for a 14 hour flight to Dubai on Emirates EK248 that will give me an 11.5 hour layover to connect to …

Day 170:  … a 10:45am flight of 2 hours on Iran Air to Isfahan, Iran (assuming they let me in) – Iran’s third largest city.  And also assuming it is not a wasted trip since I don’t know where Judith by Zaman is locateda night at the Dibai House might help me sort it out.  And then gazing at the lovely architecture of this World Heritage Site … seems far from all the strife.   through the heart of the city, bridges over the Zayande River include some of the nicest architecture in Isfahan.   The oldest bridge is Pol-e Shahrestan (12th century) and the longest is Si-o-Seh Pol – bridge of 33 arches – at 295 m.  The city center is Naqsh-e Jahan Square, bordered by buildings from the Safavid era:  the Shah Mosque on the south, Ali Qapu Palace on the west, Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque on the east, and Isfahan Grand Bazaar on the north.

Day 171:   Less than 24 hours later, a 9:25 am flight leaves for Dubai for another 16.5 hour layover (and a good night’s sleep) to connect to …

Day 172:   …. Emirates EK520 that arrives at 9am in Thiruvananthapuram, India – built on seven hills by the Arabian Sea.   Gandhi named it the “Evergreen city of India” – but that could be because of the humidity and precipitation.   average rainfall is 72 inches, so visiting in the dry season Dec-Mar is best.

My destination is the Sri Chitra Art Gallery – one of the few art galleries in India to display the finest ancient and modern Indian art.   But the main attraction in this art gallery is Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings, which happen to include Judith.

Mon, Wed – closed;  Tues, Thurs – Sun: 1 pm to 4:45 pm  

Next door is the larger Napier Museum and Zoological Gardens.  And then a nice view of the sunset from the Hotel Horizon.

Day 173:    Leaving TRV on ANA 9W337 at 1:30 pm for 2 hour flight to Mumbai (BOM) lets me connect to ANA’s NH944 at 9 pm for a 8 hour flight over night puts me in …

Day 174:  … Tokyo, Japan at 8 am.  It takes 1.5 hours to get to my first Courtyard Tokyo Ginza Hotel which is halfway to my destination, so it is best to stop there first.   Unless I pass out, I can take the 1.5 hour journey by transit.

  • Walk to Ginza Station for Shibuya Subway to Akasakamitsuke station (8 mins, 4 stops)
  • At Akasakamitsuke station, take Marunouchi line Shinjuku Subway to
    Shinjuku Station (9 mins, 5 stops)
  • From Shinjuku Station, take Express Train Takaosanguchi line Keio Line to Kitano Station (37 mins, 7 stops)
  • At Kitano Station, take Keio Hachioji Keio Line Train to Keio Hachioji Station (2 mins, 1 stop)
  • Take Taxi to Tokyo Fuji Art Museum (About 13 mins)

To see Corot‘s Judith at the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum.  

Mon – closed;   Tues-Sun:   10 am to 5 pm

Then back to the hotel, which is halfway to Narita.

Day 175:  At this point, I expect to be so tired that making decisions will be out of my skill set, so I will have to hire someone to tell me what sites to see.  Hopefully they take me by the Imperial Palace and the Sensoji on the way back to Narita about 8:30 pm for a 10 hour flight to …

Day 176:  … Sydney, Australia, arriving at 7:30 am.  Oh. My. Gawd. Australia!

First stop is the Sydney Marriott Hotel to drop my bags and then stroll 20 minutes to the Powerhouse Museum.  (And I will probably need some extra power).   The Powerhouse Museum is housed in an old train station, and the theme of “power” is still prevalent in the displays devoted to transportation.   Power is also involved when the museum hosts blockbuster exhibitions based on popular movies such as Star TrekThe Lord of the RingsStar Wars, Chronicles of Narnia and recently Harry Potter.  I am here in search of the blockbuster Judith – executed in lace and hair by an unknown artist.   The power of hair?

daily 10 am – 5 pm 

Day 177:  Art Gallery of New South Wales is just 15 minutes in the opposite direction, along Sandringham Park and the Domain Park.   The most important public gallery in Sydney, AGNSW is home to Spring FrostThe Golden FleeceBailed Up, and Chaucer at the Court of Edward III – all featured in the movie Sirens (1993) about a controversial painting.   I am here to see the controversial entrant the long running Archibald Prize (the most prominent Australian art prize, Family Portrait after Caravaggio by Rodney Pople.  I guess patricide is not popular down under.

 Daily 10 am to 5 pm   (Wed to 9 pm)

Day 178:   The flight is 7.5 hours to Dunedin, New Zealand – leaving 11:30 am and arriving at 9 pm.  I think I will go straight to the top rated hotel for my last stop:  The Bluestone on George.   Situated in the city center and overlooking the harbor and Otago Peninsula, the hotel has a charming courtyard with patio seating

Day 179:   The workshop of Marcus Wainwright is my destination, to see his breathtaking carving of Botticelli’s Judith.  His work is also visible at Cargill’s Monument and Larnach’s Tomb.  I have no idea when he will be available, so maybe I can book a trip to the albatross colony at Taiaroa Head across the water at Port Chamlmers.  Or maybe just enjoy the Victorian and Edwardian charm of the Gold Rush town.

Then head to Auckland on the last 1 hour 45 minute flight so I can …

Day 180:  … leave on the 9:30 pm flight to LAX (NZ0002), crossing the dateline to arrive in Los Angeles at 2:45 pm – after a 12 hour flight.  Which gives me a healthy lay-over until the 11:45 pm flight to ATL …

Day 181:   … which connects to the flight that arrives in CVG at 11:30am.   And on to the Cincinnati Art Museum to see the last two works of Judith:  Botticelli‘s Return of Judith to Bethulia and Moses Ezekiel‘s marble bust of Judith.

Seriously?  The end?  … Only until someone creates a new Judith.

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Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Exploring



Judith on exhibit

Dasha Shishkin, “Judith And Holofernes,” 2007, Ink, sumi ink, acrylic and pastel on plastic, dimensions variable,

She is HERE!   Dasha Shishkin is HERE!   In little old Cincinnati – home of the Mapplethorp debacle.   And what are the chances that Judith and Holofernes will part of the exhibit??

If I am able now contain my excitement,  I can get down to digesting this artwork.   But it may take a minute.

Who is Dasha Shishkin?

Shishkin creates fantasy worlds through her work. Otherworldly creatures and mischievous human figures cohabitate in lush psychedelic environments, appearing as dreams echoing the works of Egon Schiele, Brice Marden, Henry Darger, and masters of Japanese woodblock prints. She realizes these worlds through a multitude of two dimensional media including drawing, print making and painting on surfaces such as textile, paper and wall. These works display a careful attention to line that at times contain a childlike quality, while at others are as steady as those created by a draftsman. Shishkin’s work skirts the line between narrative and abstract through hypnotic patterning and mark making. (1)

Shishkin’s pieces “belong in a category of their own” (2).    Executed on tactile textures, using domestic materials like wallpaper and other discarded materials, Shishkin uses unique media like Conté crayons and Sumi ink to create bold, rich colors into abstract landscapes and scenes of human interactions that “borderline-perverse.”

Take Judith and Holofernes, for instance.   It appears that Holofernes is performing cunnilingus on Judith – which would not be so strange except:

  • There are several women in the background, nonchalantly going about their business in a salon. (okay, so Judith and Holofernes are exhibitionists …)
  • Judith is sticking a sharp object in Holofernes’ neck.  (which is not very polite considering …)

… at least that would be strange in my world.

(1) Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Dasha Shishkin exhibit, February 11-May 2012.

(2)  Gio Marconi-8xa,  Interview:  Dasha Shishkin.  Modern Painters, April 2010.

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Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Whorey


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Judith in Jeopardy

Joachim Wtewael (1566-1638), “Judith and the Head Holofernes,” 1595-1600, Oil on canvas, 43 x 31 in, Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey, USA


Ding, ding, ding.   I spied it immediately — which means this endeavor IS paying off.

Pompous Perspective for $5000 dollars.  The answer:  The artistic style characterized by elegant figures in wilfully distorted poses.     The question:  What is Mannerism?

Pompous Perspective for $10,000 dollars.  The answer:  Put a finger in the eye.     The question:  How can you make sure a severed head is really dead?

Pompous Perspective for $15,000 dollars.  The answer:  Use this color scheme to make sure everyone looks dead.     The question:  What are acidic colors?

Pompous Perspective for $20,000 dollars.  The answer:  When the abdomen is distended in late pregnancy so that the belly button pops out.     The question:  What is “an outie”?

Pompous Perspective for $25,000 dollars.  The answer:  Because she needs to save her slutty reputation.     The question:  Why would a pregnant woman seduce and decapitate an invading general?

Pompous Perspective for $50,000 dollars. The answer:  I have no f*&king idea.     The question: How do you pronounce “Wtewael”?

+  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +

For a more scholarly discussion, check out Princeton University Art Museum.  They usually edit the swearing.

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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Cacciatore


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Judith serves a cold dish

Ester Foglia , “Judith and Holofernes,” Oil on canvas,

Esther’s symbol is the owl, emblem of bibliophiles – those who love and know how to read – and is the image that best expresses the spirit that gives life to her works. The aim of Esther is in fact the search, through symbols, an art you want to put things in harmony through the material and shape. (1)

Symbolism.  One of my favorites.  And in this new work i see Klimt – not the composition, which is too easy to copy, but the style of the Byzantine icon and the intricate detail of a mosaic juxaposed against a life-like face.   The suggestion of an Eastern diadem for Judith and chalice for Holofernes’ head.  The absence of his severed neck, but the suggestion of his bloody ending in the hem of Judith’s drapery.   The composition of his head in a goblet or bowl in her hand that says:   Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Ester describes his work:

The verb that better expresses our way to make art is: to recover!

To recover doesn’t mean recycle, but to take out from the great casket of tradition and reading it again through the eyes of the contemporary age. This way we are able to propose, again, a personal style, representing our way of being.

Our purpose is an attempt to communicate and revive myths and tales, histories and legends through symbols, an ancient instrument perfectly efficient that takes the freedom of talking to people who want to hear it, exciting interest and investigation to whom is willing to understand it. (2)

There is much more glorious art work beyond Judith that is worth viewing – but that is for another blog!



(1)  Donat Conenna, Éster Foglia: From Classic to Liberty,

(2)  Éster Foglia: From Classic to Liberty,

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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Glory


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Judith gathers moss

Inside Dublin stands the finest 17th-century building in Ireland – The Royal Hospital Kilmainham.  The hospital was built in 1684 by Sir William Robinson as a home for retired soldiers and continued in that use for over 250 years.   It is now used as a Conference Center and as the home of the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Imagine strolling the formal landscaped gardens and tree lined avenues – laid out in the French style with plants, sculpture and furniture similar to those in vogue at the time the Hospital was built.   Hear the gravel softly crunch beneath your feet as you peer down a long walkway …

Unknown, statue of Judith, c. 1684, The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, Ireland

… and at the end you meet Judith, clutching a severed head and wearing a beard of moss.   How hoary.

Unknown, statue of Judith, c. 1684, The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, Ireland

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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Gory


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Judith gets advice

Carrie Ann Baade, “The Red Queen,” 2005, Oil on panel, 14 x 14 in,

Joan of Arc took direction from God.   Who is whispering in Judith’s ear?

Baade has layered numerous images to add depth to the Judith story:  Lucas Cranach’s Judith in the garments of Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen, with one eye open to the words of La Calavera Catrina by Posada.   Aside from the multiple references to decapitation and taking a life, this work leads me to ponder Judith’s motivations (as if i needed any provocation).   Was it defense of Bethulia, defense of her own person, defense of her pride or merely an opportunity to act powerfully and independently?  And once the act is committed, what happens to Judith then?

In Baade’s words:

As an artist and subject in my work, I consider myself to be steward and ax man to the legacy of art history by cutting and serving up the reinvigorated past to be contemplated in context of the contemporary. Each one of the layers in my work acts like a door to a past time or reference to an old story. Through showing these, layers it is my intention to weave what are called metanarratives, these are telling a story through a story which ends up having both denotative and connotive meanings … therefore I can refer to everything a past story might represent, such as in “The Red Queen,” denotes the biblical Judith and Holofernes as well as Salome and John the Baptist, and also Alice and Wonderland but for myself I was exploring what it is to be a powerful woman with sexual allure and the consequences of one’s actions. If killing the object of your regard, real or metaphor, is the consequence, was it worth the price of one’s consience being constantly haunted by one’s evil deeds? (1)

This is a allegory for rulers and the consequences for staying in power. (2)

Unfortunately, Judith’s story seems to end like most fairy tales:  after the Assyrians flee (and the Israelites enjoy a great slaughter and plunder), Judith lives happily ever after.

Or did she?

(1) Carrie Ann Baade, Unabridged Interview, March 24, 2007, http://www.deviant

(2)  The Red Queen,

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Mad Girl’s Love Song by Sylvia Plath

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Cacciatore


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