Tag Archives: Grammatica

Judith out and about: Bloomington

Oh my, where has the time gone? I am so far behind — so many Judith’s to discuss and so disorganized. But I must start somewhere so, this appears to be the spot.

In the center of the picturesque campus of Indiana University is the Art Museum. It is located on the Fine Arts Square, next to the centerpiece Showalter Fountain that depicts Venus being born from a clam shell amidst frolicking dolphins.  The Museum’s collection includes more than 45,000 works organized into nine curatorial areas, allowing visitors to take an extraordinary global journey through three floors in I. M. Pei’s iconic triangular building.  And almost immediately inside the first gallery is “Judith with the Head of Holofernes” by Matteo di Giovanni. (discussed in “Judith begins modeling,” January 9, 2012)

Judith (1490-1495) Matteo di Giovanni

Matteo di Giovanni, “Judith with the Head of Holofernes,” c.1490-95, Tempera on panel, 55.9 x 46 cm, Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

It is actually larger than I imaged and prominently displayed at the gallery entrance.  Consequently, I was quite proud of our heroine.

And little further in is Antiveduto Grammatica’s “Judith with the Head of Holofernes.” (discussed  in “Judith gives directions,” November 7, 2011).  Not quite as impressive but much larger and worth a trip to the IU campus if you crave a Baroque Judith.

Judith (1591-1624) Antiveduto Grammatica (2)

Antiveduto Grammatica, “Judith with the Head of Holofernes,” c.1620–25, Oil on canvas, 120 x 93 cm, Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in Story


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Judith gives directions

Judith:  I think Bethulia is this-a-way … or is it that-a-way?   Crap, we may have to spin the head to make a decision.

Antiveduto Grammatica, “Judith with the Head of Holofernes,” c.1620–25, Oil on canvas, 120 x 93 cm, Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Story


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Judith and the cliff-hanger

From Antiveduto Grammatica, I have two paintings of Judith asking “What do we do now?

First, the full figure of Judith and the maid – with Holofernes tucked away in the lower left corner.

Antiveduto Grammatica, “Judith and Holophernes,” 1600–1620, Oil on canvas, 190 x 159 cm, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, England, UK

As the maid holds the bag for Judith, there seems to be an urgency – hurry, someone is coming.   It is difficult to determine:  are Judith and the maid looking at each other?   Or is the maid looking out of the entrance for someone coming in, and Judith looking over the maid’s shoulder at a sound?    Wherever they are looking, the tension is obvious – the uncertainty is visible.

Second is the close-up.   A more subtle view of the indecision in the aftermath of the decapitation.

Antiveduto Grammatica,”Judith with the Head of Holofernes,” 1591 c.-1624 c., Oil on canvas, 120 x 93 cm, auctioned by Sotheby’s 6/9/2011 (Lot 24)

In this setting, the maid seems to be the one with the ideas.    Her face is in the shadow of her cowl, but she appears to be speaking – urging Judith to the next step:  she holds the torch that will lead the way.   In contrast, Judith is in full light and holds the head in the basket, but her gaze is downcast – pensive and hesitant.   I was prepared up to this point but now i’m not so sure.

It is the cliff-hanger moment in the movie.

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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Story


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