Judith, Barbie-style

01 Sep

(From Doublemint Twins of Judith)

I will admit it:  these two works of art do not have anything in common.   Except Holofernes’ head.
And the fact that Judith looks pleased as punch about the success of the decapitation.

Lavinia Fontana, “Judith and Holofernes,” 1595, Oil on canvas, 90 x 120 cm, Oratorio del Ritiro di San Pellegrino, Bologne, Italy

Fontana – after painting several portraits of Judith – outdid herself on the costume this time.  A lovely shade of red (almost coral), opulent jeweled embellishments to the bodice,  delicate gold filigree netting to the shoulders and sleeves, vibrant gold brocade skirt and velvet green sash with gold tassels tied in a jaunty bow.   I was so dazzled by the ensemble that i barely even noticed the bloodstain on her fingers.  Or the bloodied body writhing in the background.

Megan Pickering, “Judith slaying Holofernes,” 2009, photograph,

On the other hand, Pickering skipped the costume altogether.   Instead, Judith wears a sunny smile that does not quite detract from the pool of blood at her feet.   And in the background, Pickering’s Judith gets props for recycling the parts of Holofernes she did not need.

Once Judith has the head, who needs a costume anyway.

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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Whorey


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