Judith makes an exception

04 Mar

Unknown artist, Italian School (19th century),”Judith with the Head of Holofernes,” 1866, Oil on canvas, 103.5 x 77.5 cm, auctioned by Jackson’s Auction, Jun 23, 2009 (Lot 256), Cedar Falls, Iowa, US

I tried to avoid works by unknown artists. Especially in auctions, the work is usually poor quality and a copy of a more significant piece. But i made an exception in the case of this painting because a) it is good quality and b) it is not a copy.  While a similar stance has been used by other artists,  this Judith has a distinctive expression and discriminating hair and clothing – representing an admirable example of Romanticism.

The white shoulder and the surprised expression are particularly appealing, suggesting that Judith has not let this act make her wanton or harsh or vengeful.  She has completed her task (almost) and will now return to being the upstanding widow of Bethulia.

After she sneaks past the guards, ditches the head and washes her hands – obviously.

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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Cacciatore


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