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19th Century Continental Follower Of Peter Paul Rubens 1577 -1640. Judith And The Head Of Holofernes. Oil On Canvas.


£12,895 | $17,970 USD | €15,028 EUR
Item Number: SA728324
Date of manufacture: 19th Century
Current Status: For sale
Seller: Big Sky Fine Art
This antique has been viewed 31 times in the past month with the most views from Germany.


19th Century Continental follower of Peter Paul Rubens.
Flemish ( b.1577 - d.1640 ).
Judith and the Head of Holofernes.
Oil on Canvas.
Image size 31.1 inches x 23.6 inches ( 79cm x 60cm )
Frame size 39.2 inches x 31.9 inches ( 99.5cm x 81cm )
Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art; this original oil painting by an early 19th Century follower of the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens b.1577 – d.1640.
It is presented and supplied in a 19th century period fancy frame (which is shown in these photographs).
The painted canvas surface and the frame have benefitted from some restoration, cleaning and conservation, which took place in 2020 on our instructions. The canvas was lined in the mid-20th Century by the previous owner.
This antique painting is in very good condition, commensurate with its age. It wants for nothing and is supplied ready to hang and display.
This amazing painting depicts the biblical story of Judith beheading Holofernes. The first account of this is found in the Bible, the deuteroncanical Book of Judith. Holofernes was an Assyrian General who was sent by the King of Nineveh, Neduchadnezzar, to subdue his enemies, the Jews. General Holofernes set up his camp above the city of Bethulia and besieged its people. The people suffered famine and considered surrender. Judith, a beautiful widow, overheard plans to surrender the city and decided to ‘deliver the city’. Together with her maid she infiltrated the army camp of Holofernes. She was able to enter his tent because of his desire for her. She waited until he was overcome with drink and then approached his bed, seized her sword and slayed him. She took away his severed head in a basket. Judith then returned to her people victorious, holding the severed head as a trophy. The Jews regained their courage, raided the Assyrian camp and drove the enemy away.

The story of Judith slaying Holofernes is one of the most well-known iconic themes in classical art and has been captured by some of the leading artists and sculptors over the centuries. Judith has been portrayed in various ways and varying interpretations of the overall scene have been applied to suit the political needs of the times. The story has enabled artists to explore the dynamics of female virtue and power. Judith has been portrayed both as the femme forte (strong and virtuous) and the femme fatale (sexually dangerous).
In early Renaissance works Judith is shown as virtuous, fully dressed and desexualised. The sculptor Donatello thus created a bronze statue of Judith and Holofernes (1457-1464) which stands in the Hall of Lillies in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy. A copy stands in one of the sculpture’s original positions on the Piazza Signoria, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The implied allegorical subtext of Donatello’s sculpture was that of courage of the people in the face of tyranny. Similar depictions were created by Sandro Botticelli in The Return of Judith to Bethulia and Andrea Mantegna’s Judith and Holofernes, which is in the corner of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Later Renaissance artists showed a more sexualised and aggressive Judith, a female assassin who was also a seducer; examples are by Lucas Cranach the Elder, and Giorgione. Other Renaissance artists who painted Judith include Titian and Paolo Veronese.
For a fuller description of this painting please see the listing on .
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This item is antique. The date of manufacture has been declared as 19th Century.


Height = 99.5 cm (39.2")
Width = 81 cm (31.9")
Depth = 7 cm (2.8")

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Big Sky Fine Art
Greenwood House
Plaisters Lane
Sutton Poyntz
United Kingdom

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