Judith takes the Crown

27 Feb

Now for the Winner of the Best Avenging Female of the 17th CenturyJudith of Bethulia!

Cristóbal de Villalpando, “Judith,” Oil on canvas, 83.8 x 56 cm, auctioned by Sotheby’s, Nov19, 2003 (Lot 67)

Borrowing from Giorgione for her stance, Cristóbal de Villalpando depicted Judith in the decorative and luminous style of Baroque colonial Mexico – a two-dimensional equivalent to the Ultrabaroque architecture of buildings of the time.  What we would consider “over the top” Baroque – if that is even possible considering Baroque by definition is dramatic exaggeration, exuberance, and grandeur.  BIG fluffy clouds.  BRILLIANT shafts of light.  SOARING cliffs.  THREE FOOT feather and FOUR FOOT sword.  FIVE layers of clothing and to top it off, a CROWN.

So what is up with the feather?  Did she tickle Holofernes into submission?  Or is that a Baroque symbol of “nanny nanny boo boo”?

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Glory


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