This impressive composition ranks among the masterpieces executed by Artemisia Gentileschi, daughter of the painter Orazio Gentileschi and a strong woman who, against all odds, established herself as a respected painter. The subject is executed with a directness that sets it apart from many other contemporary renditions. The theatrical lighting of the scene echoes in many respects the works of the northern followers of Caravaggio, who had specialized in such effects, while the intense realism of the scene is close to Caravaggio himself.
Artist Artemisia Gentileschi
Italian, 1593-1653 (?)
Title
  • Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes
Date ca. between 1623 and 1625
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed: 72 7/16 × 55 3/4 inches (184 × 141.6 cm)
Framed: 85 × 68 1/2 × 3 1/2 inches (215.9 × 174 × 8.9 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Mr. Leslie H. Green
Accession Number 52.253
Department European Painting
On View European: Medieval and Renaissance W220, Level 2 (see map)
1952, Prince Brancaccio (Rome, Italy);
(Alessandro Morandotti, Rome, Italy) and (Adolph Loewi, New York, New York, USA) co-owners;
1952, purchased by Leslie H. Green;
1952-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
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