Judith Displays the Head of Holofernes, Abraham Bloemaert
Abraham Bloemaert
Judith Displays the Head of Holofernes
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Abraham Bloemaert

Judith Displays the Head of Holofernes, ca. 1593

34.3 x 45.9 x min. 0.6 cm
maximum depth
0.9 cm
Physical Description
Oil on oak
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1918
Not on display


About the Work

Only at second glance does the viewer become aware of the nature of the triumphal event. It is night, and people of all ages have gathered around a woman. It is Judith, who is standing in front of the gateway to her home town of Bethulia and presenting the severed head of Holofernes. The beautiful widow had bewitched the general of the besieging Assyrian army in order to kill him while he lay in a drunken stupor (Book of Judith 10-13). In this early work, Bloemaert, who would dominate the art world of Utrecht for decades, even took up details of the biblical text such as the burning torch and interwove them with Mannerist physical forms to create an exciting whole.

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