Judith Beheading Holofernes
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
c. 1598-1599
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome, Italy

Judith Slaying Holofernes
Artemisia Gentileschi
c. 1611–12 
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy

These paintings depict the story of Judith, a Jewish widow. Holofernes, an Assyrian general, was about to take arms against Judith’s home city of Bethulia, but was overcome by lust for Judith. After sneaking into his tent at night and getting him inebriated, Judith and her maid decapitate Holofernes. They then take is head and present it to his troops, who then flee in terror, thereby saving Bethulia.

How many of you had to compare these two paintings for an Art History class? Why is this story such a popular subject for artists, especially in the early Renaissance?

Check out these other Judithes by Galizia, Giorgione, Botticelli, Mantegna, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and Klimt.

  1. caitlinasmits reblogged this from fuckyeaarthistory
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  4. mcdonaldschip reblogged this from pluto-persephone
  5. pluto-persephone reblogged this from fuckyeaarthistory and added:
    I love Artemisia Gentileschi’s version myself because well, I just love her so much. She did many versions and...
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  10. plasticpiranhas reblogged this from fuckyeaarthistory and added:
    My favorite Judith will always be the Gentileschi. God damn I am a nerd.
  11. ginamaria reblogged this from caravaggista and added:
    YES! :Dfuckyeaarthistory:Judith Beheading Holofernes Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio c. 1598-1599 Galleria Nazionale...
  12. complicatedtriangulated reblogged this from fuckyeaarthistory and added:
    The comment that a teacher of mine made was he found it interesting that Artemisia Gentileschi was someone inspired and...
  13. i-gloriana reblogged this from fuckyeaarthistory
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  15. friendswaffleswerq reblogged this from fuckyeaarthistory and added:
    I love Artemisia Gentileschi so much. Her father was also a painter, and one of his apprentices raped her when she was...
  16. mattheal reblogged this from fuckyeaarthistory and added:
    Pretty sure these were on my finals
  17. eternalroses reblogged this from fuckyeaarthistory
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  21. simplykeight reblogged this from caravaggista and added:
    Yes, and currently writing a paper on Gentileschi’s at the moment.
  22. everybodysworstcritic reblogged this from fuckyeaarthistory and added:
    How did we compare them? You mean everyone trying to argue that the reason Artemisia’s images showed Judith in a more...
  23. draco-maledicte reblogged this from caravaggista and added:
    I am so happy to see this on my dash! The comparison of these paintings in my survey class really cemented my choice to...