Sunday, May 3, 2009

Judith Slaying Holofernes by Gentileschi

Name: Judith Slaying Holofernes
Artist's Name: Artemisia Gentileschi
Date: ca. 1614
Period: Baroque
Material: Oil on canvas

Gentileschi was greatly inspired by Caravaggio and this fact is obvious in Judith Slaying Holofernes. The highly theatrical lighting and placement of the figures close to the viewer against a darkened background, and the dark subject matter make this painting very much like a Caravaggio. There is a lot of drama and emotion in this piece: the fear and pain on Holofernes' face while he struggles to push the women off him, the determination in the faces of Judith and her maid as they hold the man down and remove his head, the blood spurting and staining the bedsheets. Gentileschi was also adept at the use of color. The red of Holofernes' blanket mirrors the spraying blood and the trim of Judith's dress.

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