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Judith: The Synopsis

19 Mar

After wandering the internet for two years, there are some works of art I am still chasing.  They illusively emerge in image searches for “Judith” and “Holofernes” – and then evaporate when clicking on the link.  And so I am left with … thumbnails.  Lilliputian images of massive works of art, shrunk to fit 100 to a page.

With this sad preface, I give you the work of Veronese (aka Paolo Caliari or at least his circle) who seems to have created a virtual picture book of Judith.  These are actually narrative panels – often inserted into luxury chests or part of the decoration of a room.  I have discussed Veronese previously – his multiple treatments of the detachment (August 14, 2011) and his depiction of the visit from the elders (Nov 14, 2012).  Four other works regarding Judith have been floating around my database for a year without a regular size image or information on location.  I was on the verge of giving up when OH JOY! it happened TODAYthey were identified and restored to their rightful size.

Also, it gives me the opportunity to review the story of Judith for those who joined us late.

First of the new entries and the beginning of the story:  Achior gets his ass handed to him

Achior was leader of the Ammonites, who Holofernes approached for information about the Israelites when they prepared resistance against his punishment.   This is a picture of Achior getting his ass handed to him after he told Holofernes the Israelites could not be defeated.  Since Achior seemed to think the Israelites were the shiz, Holofernes tied him up and dumped him in front of their door.

Judith () Veronese 1

Paolo Veronese (circle of), “The Flight of Achior from the Camp of Holofernes,” Oil on canvas, 27 x 57 cm, The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford, England. UK

Two:  Judith calls up the Old Dudes

Once the Israelites heard from Achior what Holofernes was up to, the Old Dudes who ran Bethulia decided to give up.  So much for Achior’s prediction they couldn’t be defeated.  This is Judith calling up the Old Dudes who run Bethulia so she can tell them to look for a pair of balls.

Judith () Veronese 2

Paolo Veronese (circle of) “Judith Receiving the Ancients of Bethulia,” oil on canvas, 27 x 57 cm, The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology Oxford, England, UK

Three:  Judith makes her own plans

Once she determined the Old Dudes were not going to grow a pair, Judith made up her own plan to neutralize Holofernes.  In this picture, she is telling the guards as she leaves the gates of Bethulia “I’m comin’ up so let’s get this party started!”

Judith () Veronese 6

Paolo Veronese (circle of), “Judith leaving Bethulia,” Oil on canvas, 27 x 57 cm, The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford, England, UK

Four:  Holofernes falls for it

When the guards bring Judith to Holofernes, he is mightily impressed with her badonkadonk and assumes she is down for a Private Audience with his scepter.  At least that is how he interprets a woman falling to her knees.

Judith () Veronese 4

Five:  Holofernes throws it back

Not one to pass up an evening with the ladies, Holofernes arranges to have a sumptuous banquet – and Judith arrives looking her most bodacious.  While apparently, the Maid enjoys the attentions of a Little Person.

Judith () Veronese 3

Paolo Veronese (circle of), “Judith feasted by Holofernes,” Oil on canvas,” 27 x 57 cm, The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology Oxford, England, UK

Six:  Judith prepares for the deed

Now that she has him drunk and interested, Judith takes Holofernes back to his tent for Private Time.  But once he passes out, she takes down his Big Ass Sword to sever their relationship.  This is a picture of Judith saying a little prayer before she commits murder.  A prayer usually helps.

Judith () Veronese 5

Paolo Veronese (circle of), “Judith about to kill Holofernes,” Oil on canvas,” 27 x 57 cm, The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology Oxford, England, UK

Of course, we know how it ends.

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Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Story

 

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