My advance planning for the V&A visit has revealed one disturbing fact: there is A LOT of Judith in storage. Not that I am feeling persecuted (there is probably a LOT of David in storage as well) but just disappointed that the museum visit will not be All Judith All The Time. So for the remaining posts about the V&A, they will have to be about works of art I will not see, at least on this visit. And there ends my narcissistic rant … for the moment.
But I will especially miss this painting, the one I wrote about unkindly in “Judith is put to bed wet” (October 18, 2011).
It is possible that seeing this painting in the flesh would incline me to be more kind about the depiction of Judith — but I would not bet on that. Judith’s slack jawed expression would not change, nor the beefy appearance of her forearm and the uncomfortable compression of her breasts. Perhaps she would not appear to be bathed in perspiration and maybe the details of her gown and toilet would be more pronounced. Perhaps. But now I will never know.
Maybe that’s why she is in storage.
See you at the V&A!