Judith robs the cradle

15 Mar

It is the Ides of March – and Judith is still going strong. I actually thought this endeavor would be over by now but no! I keep finding more Judith’s to disparage.

Judith (1525-30), Master of the Mansi Magdalen

Master of the Mansi Magdalen, “Judith and the Infant Hercules,” 1525-30, Oil on oak, 89.5 x 52.7 cm, The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, UK

I love the manner in which the National Gallery describes this painting:

Judith, an Old Testament heroine, holds the head of Holofernes and a sword. It is unusual for her to be represented nude. Hercules, a classical hero, grasps a serpent in each hand. The reason for the association of Judith with Hercules is not known.

In other words: Judith is being unusually whorey by prancing around in the duff and she is corrupting the morals of the heroic Hercules – just a babe who is strangling the snakes that Hera placed in his crib to kill him.  The fact that she is a Biblical character from the Hebraic text and he is a Mythological character from Greece seems irrelevant to this tableau.  As does the fact that she avenged a city of people by beheading one man and he had to atone for killing his wife and three children with twelve labors.  Thus there is no conceivable connection between these two characters – other than the fact they are nude.

Or maybe they are simply headed to Orient Beach.


Posted by on March 15, 2013 in Whorey


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2 responses to “Judith robs the cradle

  1. Gonnagan

    March 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Maybe it has something to do with the “venus and Cupid” paintings that became popular at the time. Guess the painters occasionally mixed up their motifs.

    • judith2you

      March 20, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      You may be right. I attribute the mix up to “all nude women looked alike” in the Northern Renaissance.

      Thanks for the comment.


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