Tree trimming. What clever use of a left-over head. Holofernes in the Christmas Spirit.
Monthly Archives: December 2012
And what a pleasant surprise! Another Judith in my own backyard.
A rather unusual portrait of Judith. Not only is she missing Holofernes head and his fauchion and her maid, but her arms seem to be gone as well.
Strange, because Ezekiel studied human anatomy at the University of Virginia for a short time before moving to Cincinnati in 1868 to be with family and attend J. Insco Williams’ Art School. You think he would have remembered the arms. Failing to gain an apprenticeship, he traveled abroad to study at the Berlin Royal Academy where he developed a style that was romantic, elaborate and ornate – and highly popular in the Victorian era. After the Franco-Prussian war (1870-1871) and a brief imprisonment, Ezekiel went to Italy and began producing the most memorable work of his prolific career – which included Judith.
Neither did Ezekiel do Judith any favors when it came to her profile, in giving her her an unusually large nose – not at all classic. It may be that he was trying to portray her semitic heritage, it may be that he was reflecting a family member (since he was descended from Spanish-Jews), or it may be he just liked her nose that way. Unfortunately, these days she probably would have begged for rhinoplasty for her 16th birthday and just become another pretty face instead of an avenging heroine.
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Judit Polgár is a Hungarian chess grandmaster, achieving the title at age 15 years and 4 months – the youngest person to do so at that time. The only woman on FIDE’s Top 100 Players list, her rank as of March 2012 was No. 29 in the world. She is by far the strongest female chess player in history – with the distinction of being the game the first female player in chess history the beat the world’s No. 1 player in competitive play and the first No. 1 ranked female player in any sport to beat the No. 1 ranked male player.
Judith: So what are you thinking?
Maid: I was thinking Chinese.
Judith: Eh, i worry about the MSG.
Maid: Yeah, how about Indian?
Judith: Too spicy. Sushi?
Maid: Raw seafood scares me. Mediterranean?
Judith: Reminds me of a former boyfriend.
Judith: Burgers is good. Just don’t get the bags mixed up.
We still don’t know who commissioned the sculpture, even if its grim subject and the dramatic force of the figure make it apt for meditation on sin, “Holofernes” is the personification of Vice defeated by Virtue, embodied by Judith and death. (1)
She was not known for her housekeeping. Just like Judith to leave a severed head laying around for us to meditate on sin.
(1) Stefania Schiavon, Musei Civici Agli Eremitani, Giovani Artisti Italiani