Thursday, March 23, 2017

Two Beheadings Or Not Two Beheadings

Holofernes was an Assyrian general who, according to the apocryphal Book of Judith, wanted to have sex with Judith before destroying Israel.

Other versions have it that Judith, upset with her fellow Jews for not trusting in God to save them from foreign powers, travels to the Assyrian camp, gains the trust of Holofernes, then, when he is drunk, slips into his tent and cuts off his head.

The painting up top is by Artemisia Gentileschi and is notable because it shows the effort it takes to cut a human head from its body. The painting below is by Caravaggio and is notable, too, but for the opposite reason.

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