Hans Baldung Grien has painted Judith before, in full length. Here he has “borrowed” the style of Lucas Cranach the Elder – but removed Judith’s elaborate clothing and depicted the fauchion as ghastly huge. Yet again, the story of Judith is shown in stark contrasts: the violence off-stage versus the demure attitude of the heroine, the righteousness of her mission versus the sensuousness of her naked breasts, the delicateness of her ringlets and jeweled necklace versus the crash heaviness of the jagged sword and the massive severed head.
Poor Judith. Having completed this One Great Feat in the prime of her youth, it is a shame that the Israelites were not able to send her out on other over-cover missions. She could have written a helluva espionage series.