Judith Beheading Holofernes

The dying man is Holofernes, an enemy of the Israelites in the Old Testament, and the young woman beheading him is Judith, his divinely appointed assassin. Yet at the same time he is also an Italian painter called Agostino Tassi, while the woman with the sword is Artemisia Gentileschi,

The painting is relentlessly physical, from the wide spurs of blood to the energy of the two women as they perform the act The effort of the women’s struggle is most finely represented by the delicate face of the maid, who is younger than in most paintings, which is grasped by the oversized, muscular fist of Holofernes as he desperately struggles to survive. Although the painting depicts a classic scene from the Bible, Gentileschi drew herself as Judith and her mentor Agostino Tassi, who was tried for and convicted of her rape, as Holofernes. Gentileschi’s biographer Mary Garrard famously proposed an autobiographical reading of the painting, stating that it functions as “a cathartic expression of the artist’s private, and perhaps repressed, rage

This is our second image in our set of historical masters.  This image was created within a school meeting room with a black background although this image looks straightforward it was surprising difficult to set up and took a number of attempts to get close to the original painting. 


Judith Pat Dunscombe

Holofernes Anthony Sharp

Maid Anna Chouler

Our Interpretation

The Original