Tag Archives: angels

Judith never lets them see her sweat

Of all the depictions of Judith that I have unearthed, this has to be the most grotesque. And disturbing. Once you get past the angels, that is.

Judith (1810) Jose Maria Vasques

Jose Maria Vázquez, “Judith beheading Holofernes ,” 1810, oil on copper, 55 x 41.5 cm, auctioned by Christie’s, New York, January 28, 2009 (Lot# 225)

The scene:   storm clouds gathering in the background as the maid anxiously watches the Assyrian soldiers milling around the camp.  Four winging cherubs hover above the action – holding back the heavy green curtains of the tent.  Holofernes lies naked on the bad (except for a strategically placed sheet) with his arms thrown back in agony as Judith calmly stands looking down at him … WITH THE FAUCHION HALFWAY THROUGH HIS NECK!!!

She doesn’t seem the least bit repulsed, as did Caravaggio’s Judith.

She doesn’t seem to be struggling, as did Gentileschi’s Judith.

Rather, the only emotion she appears to convey is “concentration” – as if to be thinking “Hmm, if I had hit him with the blade a little to the left, maybe this wouldn’t be so hard.  The cut isn’t going to be as smooth as I had hoped, but I can make up for that after we get the head back to Bethulia.”  No concern about mussing her dress or her sandals.  No exertion or repugnance.  You might suspect that she does this everyday.

At least i hope she changes her dress.

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Posted by on July 3, 2013 in Gory


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Judith cleans up – again

Judith (c. 1739) Goettweig Abbey

unknown, “Judith,” c. 1739, fresco, Göttweig Abbey, Krems, Austria

It always helps to have your own private angel (angle?) to get you out of a mess.

And after that slutty performance yesterday, Judith and her maid have a lot of cleaning up to do.  What better way to put your transgressions behind you than to lace up your corset, attache some feathers to your cap, wrap up the severed head and slink out of town while the rest of the camp nurses a hang-over.

Be an angel and close the flap on the tent after we leave, will ya?

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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Glory


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Judith has company

In a quiet little church in Spain …


… on the back left wall of the nave …


… stands Judith and an adoring crowd.

Unknown School of Seville., “Judith,” Oil on canvas, 162 x 105 cm, Nave of the Gospel, Chapel of San Bartolomé, Cantillana, Spain

I’m getting a little bit better at this iconography.   Enough to understand that in the lower left corner, Judith is kneeling at the feet of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child because she is the predecessor to Mary.  Then there are cherubs surrounding her head and holding a wreath of … of … oysters?  Must be a Catalonian thang.

Okay, so I’m not really getting any better at this.

see: Roman Villalon, and Captain Jose Alvaro Duran. Inventory of the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. Cantillana. Files of the Parish of Our Lady of the Asunción.1997.

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Posted by on June 30, 2012 in Glory


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