Today I move from English-speaking Ireland to Spanish-speaking Argentina, where I am lost. Let’s hope a picture IS worth a thousand words.
Because i LOVE this painting. But I cannot translate the descriptions.
What is there to love? Without words, Judith and the Maid are in a pinch and dependent on each other. Their trust and concern are evident in the placement of their hands on each other in a comforting and protective embrace.
Behind them are two scenes: a woman before a cross with a decapitated head and a women covering her face with a child at her feet. Without words, the woman before the cross is doing God’s work by defending her people against an aggressor. Without words, the woman with the child is anguished because she has no defense against an assault – physical or psychological.
Without words, I interpret this painting to be about women uniting to protect each other. On the one hand, women are responsible for giving and nurturing fragile lives – yet we have few defenses. On the other hand, there is belief in God and the strength of the women who have preceded – like Judith and her maid. Together, there is comfort and power and hope. And I want to believe that – I do believe that.
What do you see without words?
POST SCRIPT March 24, 2013:
A reader has draw my attention to an additional work of Paz that also depicts Judith – which led me to a third piece that addresses the same theme. My gratitude to oatmeal girl. And to Paz for adding a little humor to “Dropping the Head of Holofernes.” The second “The Dancer and the Dwarf” is probably referring to Salome (that slut) but I have included her just in case Judith engaged in some dancing as well …