Judith steals Björk’s dress

24 Feb

This HAS to be one of my favorite depictions of Judith.  The style, the color, the symbolism is all too delicious for words.  I only wish the image was larger!  So where to begin …

Gustave Adolphe Mossa, “Judith,” 1904, pen and ink and watercolour on paper, 36 x 19 cm, auctioned by Sotheby’s, Jun 13, 2006 (Lot 319), London, UK

Gustav Mossa, (1883-1971) was inspired by the work of Baudelaire among other authors, and his style was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, Art Nouveau and the Symbolist movement.  There is also a hint of his father’s posters for the Carnival of Nice, to which Mossa returned after 1911 – abandoning Symbolism.

During his Symbolistic period, there was obviously some weird shit going on, as suggested by this self-portrait.   His subjects were often women of classical myth such as harpies and sirens, depicted as perverse by nature. His style reflected the illustrious view of the Victorian Era, while simultaneously evoking an air of subversion.

With Judith, Mossa uses a hypnotic stare – devoid of emotion after murdering and butchering Holofernes.  She is attired in pale-pink finery decorated with swans and appears to be above reproach – except for the open bodice that exposes her breasts and the snake wrapped around her throat.  And that decapitated head dripping blood down the back of her skirt.

At least the maid has the sense to attempt to catch the head and look around to see if they are being followed. It might be Björk looking for her dress.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

to see more about Mossa’s macabre art:

Phespirit, Gustav-Adolf Mossa: Pierrot S’En Va – 1888.

Zoetica Ebb, Corpses kiss damsels: the curious art of Gustav Mossa. COILHOUSE, December 28th, 2007.

Gustav-Adolph MOSSA

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Posted by on February 24, 2013 in Whorey


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