Tag Archives: Caravaggio

Judith in the Attic

Art Dealer Says Painting Found in French Attic Is a Caravaggio


One-hundred thirty-six million dollars.

Judith (1600-10) Caravagio

Michelangelo Merisi detto Caravaggio (1573-1610), “Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1600-10, oil on canvas,  144 x 175 cm, Eric Turquin Expertise, Paris, France


Oddly, this looks a lot like a painting of Judith discussed July 30, 2011 in “Judith and the Not-So-Big-One” – and I was unable to locate it in Milan where it is owned by a bank.

Judith (1607) Caravaggio

Caravaggio or Finson, “Judith With The Head Of Holofernes,” 1607, Oil on canvas, 140 x 160 cm, Collezione Banca Commerciale Italiana, Naples, Italy


And oddly, the source of this painting is up for debate.  Perhaps this is the copy and the one in the attic is the original?  Or this is the original and the one in the attic is the copy?

Either way, I doubt that I will be spending $136 million. Or even half that for a copy.

I am merely happy that Judith still makes headlines.



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Posted by on April 24, 2016 in Gory


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Judith wanders the streets

I thought this was one work of art shown in reverse images but now I have determined it is actually TWO works – i just don’t know WHERE they are exactly.

Judith (2010) Christian Guémy - Milano

Christian Guémy, aka C215 (1973- ), “Judith et Olofernes,” 2010, Stencil work, Spray paint on metal, somewhere on the sidewalk in Isola, Milan, IT


Judith (2010) Christian Guémy - Milano

Christian Guémy, aka C215 (1973- ), “Judith et Olofernes,” 2010, Stencil work, Spray paint on metal, somewhere on the sidewalk in Isola, Milan, IT


Milan loves their street art and they love Christian Guémy (also known as C215). A prolific artist across Europe, Guémy creates stencils and then uses them to create his art on outdoor structures. While I have a “thing” for Judith, his other work is even MORE fabulous creations of original art and re-creations of known works..  And just think: it is free for the viewing … if you can find it.

In hopes of narrowing down the 1,891 square kilometres (730 sq mi) of Milan, I found Alexandra Korey’s article “Street art in Milan’s quartiere Isola: the other side of the tracks” to offer hope – and an interactive map.  She writes:

On a hunt for interesting street art in Milan, I went to Quartiere Isola, near Porta Garibaldi metro station, which is the number one area to spot street art and graffiti in the city. Isola was a “popular district” for low-income families that was built in the late 19th century, and the name “Isola” (island) refers to the fact that it was isolated from the rest of the city by the train tracks. This was, literally, the “other side of the tracks”  … Although now mostly gentrified, Isola remains a bit rough around the edges and is in the process of being “cleaned up”. The area’s administrators have embraced street art to combat bad graffiti, commissioning art in and around Porta Garibaldi station in three phases starting in 2011 and lasting 2 years.


Posted by on January 23, 2015 in Gory


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Judith spins a yarn

Beata Rosiak, “heads,” tapestry in wool, silk, linen, 130 x 90 cm,,19.html

Arras, France was a thriving textile town in the 14th and 15th centuries – specializing in fine wool tapestries, often with gold thread to decorate palaces and castles all over Europe.   Few of these tapestries survived the French Revolution as hundreds were burned to recover the gold thread.   No matter where it was woven, arras is still used to denote to a rich tapestry today.

Beata Rosiak has resurrected this fine art in intricate tapestries that recreate classic works of art.   Of course after the Mona Lisa, (insert trumpets here) Caravaggio’s Judith would be next.   Although the arras tapestry only depicts a portion of Caravaggio’s masterpiece, Rosiak has given it her own spin (yuk, yuk) by transforming the faces of Judith and her maid, than adding other ethereal heads.

I love this look.  It is almost a cartoon version of the original.   And the additional heads give it a sense of the Greek chorus – a collective voice on the dramatic action to help follow the performance and express the hidden fears or secrets that main characters cannot say.   I’m guessing they are singing about doubt and determination, disgust and satisfaction.


Posted by on November 6, 2012 in Glory


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Judith shares a cynical, dark sense of humor

Talk for long with Thomas Bennett about his art, and you’ll hear him repeatedly, unself-consciously, refer to what he does as “pushing images around.”    Look for some time at his work, however, and the movement of the medium becomes palpable …   Concerning the tendency to darkness, Bennett said “It’s hard to say that there’s anything conscious going on there. I suppose I have a kind of cynical, dark sense of humor.  (1)

I suspect Judith has a cynical, dark sense of humor, too.   I know I do.

Tom Bennett, “Holofernes is Expendable,” 2010, oil, etching inks, paint stick on monotype, 12 x 18 in,

Caravaggio, “Judith Beheading Holofernes,” c.1598, Oil on canvas,145 x 195 cm, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome, Italy

Bennett borrows Caravaggio’s composition but reverses it and transforms it.  Where Caravaggio shows Judith’s intensity, Bennett translates the same arrangement into movement.   Rather than standing statically to the side and holding her victim at arm’s length, Bennett’s Judith appears to be pulling back to gather the impetus to push her blade forward into Holofernes.  Her expression is less troubled and more determined.

Holofernes is expendable.  Of little significance when compared to the overall purpose, and therefore able to be abandoned.  Yup, in this demonstration of movement, it is clear he is going to be left behind – at least everything but his head.

(1) Janice Steinhagen, “Interview with Thomas Bennett,” Willimantic Chronicle, December 21, 2000.

(2) Flickr, Tom Bennett’s Photostream, Set: Monotypes (viewed February 16, 2012)

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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Gory


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Judith: the Playset

Neil, “Judith Beheading Holofernes, after Caravaggio,”

For the young at heart, another clever rendition of Caravaggio’s masterwork.    Except this time … with Playmobil (not to be confused with Legos).    Those colorful, chunky, cheery plastic cherubs – arranged to demonstrate a decapitation.

If only they didn’t all look so happy about it.


Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Gory


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Judith and another Awkward Family Photo

Rodney Pople, “Family Portrait after Caravaggio,” 2010, oil and photographic medium on linen, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

This family portrait was Pople’s entry in Australia’s Archibald Prize, judged by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales for 2011.    Intentionally controversial, the painting addresses objections in 2010 to Pople’s work and in 2008 to Bill Henson’s photographs.    ”It is perhaps pushing a few boundaries,” Pople said. ”I would hope so…” (1)

Borrowing from Caravaggio’s Judith beheading Holofernes (1598), the portrait depicts Pople being beheaded by his wife, Sydney art curator Felicity Fenner, as their two sons look on.

The narrative in Artist and family is deliberately ambiguous. The victim is an artist and his female assassin a curator of contemporary art. He seems horrified at his fate, yet his crime or misdemeanour is not possible to ascertain. In modelling for the painting the curator-assassin is a willing participant in its production. The children are also complicit in the slaughter, though their attention is elsewhere. Raised in a screen culture saturated with violent imagery, they are desensitised to the bloodshed afoot.

While Pople has chosen this particular painting by Caravaggio for its theatrical effect, the biblical references are not entirely coincidental. His work came under attack last year from church groups, with protests culminating in group-prayer vigils, including outside the artist and his family’s home. Primarily, however, the work continues a lineage in Pople’s previous depictions of himself, friends and family based on well-known paintings from art history.

The Caravaggio painting was also chosen for it technical approach. For Pople, Caravaggio’s use of image projection has resonance centuries later in his own incorporation of current photographic techniques in the painting process. (2)

Geesh, everyone has their pants on.  No one is enjoying the scene.  And we have seen Judith look much more slutty.  The family dynamic is uncomfortable … but so is any decapitation.

They will look back on this one day and laugh.

(1)  Kelsey Munro, Much ado about nothing, ARTcycle, April 19, 2011
(2)  Art Gallery NSW, Art Prizes: The Archibald Prize 2011 – Rodney Pople

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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Gory


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Judith and Goodbye Kitty

Tomoko Nagao, “Judith Beheading Holofernes of Kitten,” 2011, oil on canvas, 24 x 18 cm,

Yes, this is what I feared.    Hello Kitty was exposed to the heinous beheading of Holofernes yesterday, and today she wants to recreate the scene with Hello-fernes-Kitty.

There is nothing else to say except … this is some weird shit.

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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Cacciatore


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