Judith Beheading Holofernes

Judith Beheading Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi

This is one of my favourite paintings.

It's a Renaissance oil on canvas by Artemisia Gentileschi.

She has depicted a scene from the Old Testament, in which the Israelite leader Judith and her assistant Abra have drugged an enemy warlord, and are engaged in cutting his head off.

I love the calm expressions on the women's faces, although I'm told that overzealous restoration has smoothed furrows of concentration and intense effort from their brows.

Judith Beheading Holofernes by Caravaggio

Compare this with a painting on the same subject by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. A much more sanitised view of a murder.


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