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Judith the Younger vs. the Older

03 Dec

What a difference one little word can make.    For instance “il Giovane” (the younger) versus “il Vecchio” (the older).    Of course, it would help if I understood Italian.   Because during months of looking at the depiction of Judith in art, I made the mistake of confusing Jacopo Negretti, aka Palma il Giovane, with Jacopo Negretti, aka Palma il Vecchio – his great-nephew.   Duh.

An especially serious error when I realized I had three (!) Judith‘s by Palma il Giovane waiting for my examination.

Therefore in order to avoid confusion once again, I am assigning new titles to each of these works.

 Palma il Giovane (Jacopo Negretti), “Judith with head of Holofernes,” c.1535-1625, Oil on canvas, 140 x 180 cm, Louvre, Paris,France

This first painting by Palma il Giovane will be known as Must Be The Best One Because It Is In The Louvre.”   Although truthfully it is the rattiest looking of all three.    I mean, part of Judith’s shoulder is missing!   But I suppose if you like contorted headless muscular bodies and uber-obvious triangular composition, this is the version for a premier museum of art.

Palma il Giovane (Jacopo Negretti), “Judith Beheading Holofernes,” c.1600, Oil on canvas, Brake Castle, Weser Renaissance Museum, Lemgo, Germany

The second painting by Palma il Giovane will be known as  The One With All The Details In It, or More Is Less.”   Because it also has the contorted headless muscular body (minus the obvious triangular composition) with much much more.   The scabbard (foreground), the armor (right), the candle (left), the fauchion (Judith’s right hand) – and my favorite, the Pyramids of Giza outside the flap of the tent.   Who knew that Bethulia was so close to Egypt?

Palma il Giovane (Jacopo Negretti), “Judith with head of Holofernes,” c.1535-1625, Oil on canvas

And this last painting by Palma il Giovane shall be known as Oops, I Thunked You On The Head With A Sword – because that is what Judith is about to do to the maid.    Apparently, Judith missed the lesson about not running with scissors and feels perfectly capable of holding a heavy fauchion in one hand over the maid’s head.   Seems very careless to me.

The alternate titles to this work is The One In Orange and  The One I Cannot Locate.”

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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Gory

 

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