Happy Wednesday AAI Fans! Today we are working hard in our library, re-categorizing so that it may be easier to navigate either for reference or inspiration. If you are wanting to help out the art community or simply just do some volunteer work, come by or call AAI at 354-8802 to see how you can help! Don’t forget to check out our Art History/Art Piece of the day below: Judith and Holofernes.
A Met Classic. “Judith with the Head of Holofernes”, C. 1530 by Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, 1472-1553). Oil on wood. In 1911 The Rogers Fund established and it now hangs in the The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Judith, who is adorned “so as to allure the eyes of all men that should see her” (Judith 10:4, Apocrypha), demurely rests …her arm on the severed head of Holofernes, her people’s enemy. Her fantastically elaborate costume is characteristic of Cranach’s courtly mannerism. Cranach painted several versions of the apocryphal Old Testament heroine. Here, he represented Judith as one of his typically delicate, blonde women, whose circumspect expression contrasts sharply with the heavy sword in her right hand and the bluntly lifeless head resting under her left. The goriness of the severed neck must have offended the sensibilities of an owner of the painting, because it was concealed with an extra layer of beard, which was removed by a restorer after the Museum acquired the work. This version has been dated about 1530.
Source: Lucas Cranach the Elder: Judith with the Head of Holofernes (11.15) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The story of Judith and Holofernes is a classic and many artists depicted this moment in time. Here are three other artists examples:
Judith beheading Holofernes,Gentileschi, C. 1620, Oil on Canvas. Hangs in the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
Judith I, Gustav Klimt, 1901, Oil on Canvas. Hangs in the Österreichische Galerie in Vienna, Austria.
Judith and Holofernes, 1455 – 1460, Sculpture, Bronze 236 cm. Stands in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence,Italy
After seeing how art can be translated into different mediums and views, which one is your personal favorite? Studying and writing a 27 page paper on Gustav Klimt and his painting techniques, my personal favorite is his. Although the view is just her and a small portion of Holofernes’ head, Klimt betrays Judith as the main focal point bringing out her alluring adornment. The gold flake technique that Klimt used is absolutely vibrant and and appealing to the eyes as well.