Judith has a follower

14 Feb

It’s St. Valentines’s Day  – a retail holiday to make lots of people feel like lovers and others feel like losers.  So it seems appropriate to post today on a Judith that makes me feel a little lovelorn – a work of art that has no name and no home.

Judith (early 1500s) Follower of Massimo Stanzione

Follower of Massimo Stanzione, “Judith with the Head of Holofernes,” oil on canvas, 104 x 82 cm

Previously I have explained that much of my time on this blog is invested in searching images.  One of those searches uncovered this Judith on  I am telling you this because I can’t find one other blessed scrap of information about it anywhere. She seems to have been abandoned. Here are the few things I do know:

  • On October 16, 2011, I wrote about Massimo Stanzione’s “Judith with the Head of Holofernes” that is housed at MMA in “Judith in a clutch”
  • Stanzione was an Italian Baroque painter, mainly active in Naples, influenced by Caravaggio, Carracci and Vouet,
  • He worked alongside Artemisia Gentileschi during the time she was in Naples.
  • While most of his themes were religious, one of his well-known secular paintings is “Woman in Neapolitan Costume” – (c.1635) which in some ways resembles this Judith.

Massimo Stanzione (1586-1656, “Woman in Neapolitan Costume,” 1635, oil on canvas, 46.75 x 38.25 in, Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California, USA

How and why a painting is determined to be the work of a “follower” is a mystery to me. It doesn’t rival the quality of Stanzione’s work but the skirt has a realistic texture, the red fabric of the bodice and turban are vibrant, the tassels are especially jaunty and she sports a lovely necklace.  Perhaps this created by someone in the workshop who was trained in the details of apparel but not-so-much the proportion or portraiture.  Still, I find it sad that the artist was left with no name of his/her own and that the work is not housed somewhere to be admired. If anyone knows where this ended up or how much it sold for at auction, I would love to know.  Or if it is lying around in your attic, I will volunteer to take it off your hands.  I can always use another follower – or another Valentine.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 14, 2015 in Cacciatore


Tags: , , ,

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

%d bloggers like this: