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.
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 colourthysoul.tumblr.com. 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.
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.