Judith in Chartreuse?

16 May

Chartreuse?   Really?

Jean-Victor Schnetz, “Judith,” (early 19th century), Oil on canvas, Château-musée de Flers, Villeneuve d’Ascq, France

Here we have Judith before the dinner, before the carnage, before the escape.   She holds the mirror in her left hand and the end of her headscarf in her right hand so that the maid can fasten a necklace.   Her expression is distracted.

Thinking of her plan?   Concerned about her success?   Wondering who picked out this color for her dress?


Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Glory


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2 responses to “Judith in Chartreuse?

  1. tysonvick

    May 22, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I love your commentary! When I saw this image, my first thought was that this painting depicted the scene where Judith gets dressed before leaving Bethulia, before she rides to the gate to greet the elders. She has much more of a distant gaze, than an immediate sort of look.

    I never even considered that it might take place before dinner with Holofernes until you mentioned it! Isn’t it interesting how art can evoke different thoughts of time and place?

    It’s also interesting that this is the first Judith painting I’ve ever seen where she actually looks like she might be Jewish!

    • judith2you

      May 23, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Thank you for the comment. You are correct: there are few portraits in which Judith actually has features “we” would consider to be Jewish. There is a bust in my local museum by Mose Ezekiel that is clearly a reflection of his own heritage. But like Jesus, the Europeans seem to have cast her as dark blonde!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the commentary. And how odd: I bought a pashmina yesterday that is almost identical to Judith’s shawl.


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