Judith and the Trophy

11 Feb
Judith (2013) Karel Trakter

Karel Trakter, “Judith and Holofernes,” 2013, acrylic and carboncillo on paper, 76 x 50 cm, Pintrest: Karel Trakter. Plastic artist.

I am having trouble finding the words I need to describe this work by Karel Trakter of Bilbao, Spain.  Trakter’s other work is often focused on figures –  flowing in motion and striking exaggerated poses.   Dancers and models.  Long limbs.






But here is Judith.  Static. Crouching. Clutching the detached head of Holofernes as light radiates from behind.

Or is she clutching the head?  The story leads us to believe that the decapitation was a necessary means to the end of defending Bethulia – thus it makes sense that she would clutch the head.   Grip, grasp, clasp, clench, hold tightly or eagerly so the prize would not be lost.

But if you did not know the story – AND if you did not look at the blood oozing from the severed head onto Judith’s thigh – AND if you only consider Judith’s face, she seems to be looking with reverence at the head.   Very peaceful and serene – almost admiring and appreciative, almost caressing the head instead of clutching it.  Like a Madonna.  Am I reading this wrong?

Or maybe she is simply tremendously satisfied with her accomplishment and is gently fondling the head as her cherished trophy.

In any case, this work by Trakter is mesmerizing in the many and changing interpretations and in the tension and emotion of the composition. It is worthy of study for a long time.

And for those who are so fortunate, here is Judith in Restaurante Kasko for a public exhibition of Trakter’s work.  If you hurry, it opened a week ago and is probably still there!!


Personal Exposition of Karel Trakter, Restaurante Kasko, Bilbao, Spain, February 5, 2015


And you will have the added pleasure of viewing these intoxicating works by Trakter, which show his talents with dazzling color.  Shh … don’t make Judith jealous.


Karel Trakter, “Fallen angel,” 2013, Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 cm


Karel Trakter, “Achilles and Patroclus,” 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 85 cm



Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Gory


Tags: , , ,

3 responses to “Judith and the Trophy

  1. Gretel

    February 11, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Immediately it reminded me of a Pieta’.

    • judith2you

      February 11, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      It DOES, doesn’t it. I wanted to use the word “adoration,” but that seemed out of place. Pietà translates to pity, and usually refers to a lamentation in Christian art. I am having trouble thinking of Holofernes as Christ-like, but I could see Judith putting him in the role of a reluctant sacrifice. That certainly seems to be her attitude.

      • Gretel

        February 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm

        Perhaps it’s relief showing in her expression. That the deed is accomplished, and he no longer holds sway. This particular piece you found really intrigues me. Thanks for being on the hunt!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: