Monthly Archives: September 2012

Judith gets high

More in the category of architecture.

Unknown, “East pediment (Athena),” 1814-16, Cavalierhaus of Castle Park Branitz, Cottbus, Germany

Unknown, “West pediment (Judith),” 1814-16, Cavalierhaus of Castle Park Branitz, Cottbus, Germany

Branitz Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany – a planned landscape park near Cottbus.   It was the creation of Prince Hermann Ludwig Heinrich von Pückler Muskau, who began to develop the park in 1845.   The Cavalierhaus was built on part of the old foundations of stables and servants’ quarters of the old farmyard in the period from 1857-58 in an English neo-Tudor style.   Since its restoration in 1986, it has been a guesthouse and restaurant.

Sure, just what you want to see when you arrive for a cozy dinner:  a woman holding a severed head.   Hoping he was not the last guy to criticize her cooking.

(Thanks to  for the photo)

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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Cacciatore


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Judith needs a minute …

A minute to explain …

Ray Denhison, “Storefront. Construct with the Head of Holofernes,” 2011, photo,

… make that an hour.  Or two.

The artist attached the labels:  architectura, architecture, art, broadway, carondelet, classical, equivalent, fulcanelli, masterpiece, powerglide, room with a view, st. louis, temple, the classics have might.

I understand the association with architectura, architecture, art, classical, masterpiece and temple.   I even understand st. louis, broadway, carondelet.   I might even make a connection to “room with a view” and “the classics have might.”  And yes, I perceive the significance of the red brick facing on the building.

But I am stymied by:

  • Fulcanelli.  During the early 20th century, Fulcanelli was the pseudonym of a French alchemist and esoteric author, whose identity is still debated – possibly Eugène Canseliet.  He is thought to have survived World War II and disappeared completely after the Liberation of Paris.  His claim to fame:  the successful transmutation of 100 grams of lead into gold.
  • Powerglide – a two-speed automatic transmission designed by General Motors,  available primarily on Chevrolet from January 1950 through 1973.  The first automatic transmission offered in a low-priced automobile.
  • equivalent – equal in force, amount, or value;  equal in area or volume but not superposable;  like in signification or import.

Suggestions on this this relates to Holofernes??

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Posted by on September 29, 2012 in Cacciatore


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Now for something completely different (LVII)

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

Judith Ivey, born to play works by William Faulkner (The Long Hot Summer) and Tennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie).    A Southern gal who is hard to resist.   Enjoy!

Judith Ivey as Amanda Wingfield

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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in something completely different


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Judith and another life cut short

Tom Lubchenco, “Self-portrait,” 2000, oil on canvas, 14 x 9 in, private collection

Tom Lubchenko was an artist.  He could have been a doctor, but paint was in his blood.   He was self-taught, learning by trial and error and making many messes.  He admired and borrowed from: Turner (for elevating colors to a high pitch, without contrivance or gaudiness, and for the dissolution of details in light . . . unlike Rembrandt, for example, who dissolved details in darkness), Moran (for the same use of color that made Turner temporarily exempt from oblivion), Picasso (the painter of the century because he drew so well), Vermeer, Sargent, Cezanne (whose apples one could use as hammers), local Dan Sprick (whimsical poetry, exhilarating use of color, damned difficult subjects) (1).   Ruth, his loving wife, encouraged him to paint.  He tried to make pictures that were nourishing to not only artists but to everybody,

Tom Lubchenco was shot dead by an unknown assailant in the Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Wal-Mart at 11:30 pm on June 16, 2002 – Father’s Day.   He moved to Glenwood Springs because it was safer than Denver, he worked at WalMart as a night stock clerk because it seemed safer than working as a bartender.

Tom Lubchenco left behind a wife and 2 children – and his humor and his art to be enjoyed.


Tom Lubchenco, “Judith and Holofernes (Tom),” 2001, Oil on canvas,             20 x 16 in,



(1) A brief autobiography, by Tom L.

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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Glory


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Judith and the nipple rings

Cover of Vogue?!  Even Brazilian Vogue is a Big Freakin’ Deal.  John Drake Moore has arrived.  And it appears his cast of characters has arrived as well – from Another Galaxy.

First, we have Cleopatra in Space Alien Blue …

There are many fine examples of historical subjects, too many to mention all of them here. However, Cleopatra, with her blue skin and golden nipples, and The Queen of Sheba, with her warm brown eyes and skinny arms, stand out as beautiful paintings of beautiful women. Mr. Moore’s version of their beauty does not at all diminish their power and presence. From what we know about Cleopatra and the Queen of Sheba, these women were capable rulers of their nations and were respected for that in their time. These could be court paintings, if time travel were possible or Velazquez had studied with Matisse. (1)

Then we have Drake-Moore’s Big Eyed Vampire Judith

Mr. Moore presents the viewer with the decapitation as an accomplished fact: Judith, holding Holofernes’ head, gazes out of the canvas.    She is grimly victorious, resolute, and bare-breasted. She defies the viewer to find fault or even question her actions.    This display of female power, however lethal and disturbing, brings the viewer into contact, and possibly conflict, with the eroticism and anti-eroticism of violence in this collection of paintings. (1)

So the main points:

  • Cleopatra, Queen of Sheba and Judith were respected in their time.
  • Their beauty did not diminish their power and presence.
  • Their portraits display female power that is lethal and disturbing.
  • Their portraits display female power that is also erotic.
  • They are capable of receiving signals from the Mothership with their nipple rings.

(1)  Ginger Mayerson, A Book of Art: John Drake-Moore, Sequential Tart, November 2004

See also   According to the artist, “The pictures represent various personages seen through the critical eye of the Maestro, a shade transgressive, or ironical, at times erotic.”   These are my other transgressive favorites –

Salome and John the Baptist

Bloody Mary

Othello and Desdemona

All American Stripper

Skinhead stripper

Eros Amor

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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Whorey


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Judith in living color

I was getting somewhat bored with Judith.  She was seeming rather colorless.  Repetitious and monotone.  Even as a charming sculpture of baked clay covered with a lustrous, light reflecting surface known as Della Robbia.

Giovanni della Robbia, “Judith” c.1500, Glazed terracotta, 60 cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary

She seemed washed out and broken down and missing something …

Giovanni della Robbia, “Judith,” c.1475-1525, Glazed terracotta, 59.7 cm, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, US

And then BAM …

Giovanni della Robbia, “Judith,” c.1500-1525, Glazed terracotta, 71.12 cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, US

Judith in living color!!   The same stance, the same robes but now in brilliant color!!!   Saffron yellow base, deep true blue flowing robe trimmed in more vibrant yellow, white underskirt and blouse, holding a golden-yellow fauchion in upraised right arm and the dark-haired head of Holofernes in left.   She is organic and animated and more than just clay.

What a difference a little color can make.


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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Glory


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Judith dishes it out

Ludovico and Angelo Picchi, “Maiolica dish: Judith and Holofernes,” c.1550, earthenware with tin glaze (maiolica), 21.8 cm diameter,                               Holburne Museum, Bath, England, UK


Maiolica is Italian tin-glazed pottery dating from the Renaissance, decorated in bright colors on a white background. the decoration often depicts historical and legendary scenes.  This platter is the work of one of the prime pottery-making families in Castel Durante in the sixteenth century – the Picchu’s.  This region is also famous for the development of istoriato (an Italian word meaning story telling).  This is a style of maiolica on which biblical, historical, legendary, and mythological scenes were painted in comparable seriousness to Italian Renaissance easel paintings – the subjects executed with a realism unlike any previous pottery decoration.  The development of this style marked the evolution of Italian maiolica from utilitarian products to articles of luxury and high art.

The museum’s description of this platter notes Judith’s enlarged arm on this dish – which I failed to note because i was looking at Holofernes’ naked bum.  Supposedly, the enlargement of her arm suggests God’s power in enabling a woman to perform with such strength – but also that a woman would not be able to kill Holofernes with normal feeble female strength.  But there are other warnings in this depiction (1):

This would have been used in maiolica as an object to keep displayed around the house to remind brides and wives their allotted role as the ‘weaker vessel’.

Judith’s use of her feminine wiles was a common warning in the Renaissance that women represent sex which represents sin.

She was a popular subject for women, particularly courtesans who would use maiolica dishes in which Judith appeared to promote an appropriate ambience of seduction in bedrooms, placed on the deep shelves formed by headboards.

Dang.   All that from a simple dish.

But there is more …

Orazio Fontana, “Judith,” c.1540-50, earthenware with tin glaze (faience),  29 cm diameter, Louvre, Paris, France

unknown workshop of Faenza, “Judith with the head of Holofernes,” c.1535, earthenware with tin glaze (maiolica), 26 cm diameter, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, UK

unknown workshop of Castel Durante, “Judith holding the head of Holofernes,” c.1545-1560, earthenware with tin glaze (maiolica), 26.5 cm diameter, 6.4 cm ht, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Andrea da Negroponte (workshop), “Judith and Holofernes,” c.1550-1565, earthenware with tin glaze (maiolica), 15.8 cm diameter, Hotel Sandelin Museum, Saint-Omer, France

Carlo Antonio Grue (attributed to workshop), “Judith and Holofernes,”                     c.1675-1700, earthenware with tin glaze (maiolica), 24 cm diameter,                                            Frédéric Blandin Municipal Museum, Nevers, France

Carlo Antonio Grue, “Judith and Holofernes,” c.1675-1700, earthenware with tin glaze (maiolica), Private Collection

Looks like I can set the table for a dinner party.

(1)   Maiolica dish: Judith and Holofernes,  The Holburne Museum of Art.

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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Cacciatore


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