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


Dimensions
34.3 x 45.9 x min. 0.6 cm
maximum depth
0.9 cm
Physical Description
Oil on oak
Inventory Number
1583
Acquisition
Acquired in 1918
Status
On display, 2nd upper level, Old Masters

Texts

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.

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Judith Displays the Head of Holofernes
Painter
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on oak
Material
Technique

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquisition
Acquired in 1918

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Persons Shown
Illustrated Passage
  • Bibel, Altes Testament, Judit 13,13-15

Iconclass

Primary
  • 71U432 Judith shows Holofernes' head to the people
Secondary
  • 23R14 night
  • 25I1 city-view in general; 'veduta'
  • 41A11 palace
  • 41A351 terrace
  • 48C161 column, pillar ~ architecture
  • 41BB32 torch - BB - torch held upside down
  • 45C14(LANCE) helved weapons, polearms (for striking, hacking, thrusting): lance

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Last import

23.03.2020