|Judith Beheads Holofernes. Artemisia Gentileschi. c,1638.|
*Biblical story—Possible Trigger Warnings.
“Judith Beheads Holofernes.”
From the Book of Judith: Ch.16, Vs. 2-11.
The proud king bragged
Borders would be set on fire
All disloyalty would be punished
He would make prey of infants
Take virgins captive
But YHWH struck him down
Not by the strength of men
Nor by the proud sons of Titan
Nor by tall giants
But by courage and beauty
Judith’s vanquishing face
Anointed with sweet oils
Locks adorned as a crown
Sandals dazzling like precious gems
Robes of golden deception
Her beauty took his heart captive
And with a sword she cut off his head.
*(Artists have made many depictions of this biblical scene but I admire this 1638 version by Artemisia Gentileschi most. That’s her holding the sword. Understandably many have been quick to read into this shocking picture a visual response to her oppression by her father, her rape by her art teacher, and her subsequent torture by authorities during her rape trial).