Gustav Klimt - Judith and Holopherne 1901

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Judith and Holopherne 1901

Judith and Holopherne 1901
84x42cm oil/canvas
The Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, Austria

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When Klimt tackles the biblical theme of Judith, the historical course of art has already codified its main interpretation and preferential raffiguration. In fact, many paintings exist, describing the episode in a heroic manner, especially expressing Judith's courage and her virtuous nature. Judith appears as God's instrument of salvation, but the violence of her action cannot be denied and is dramatically shown in Caravaggio's rendering, as well as those of Gentileschi and Bigot. Other representations have chosen the subsequent moment, when a dazed Judith holds Holofernes' severed head, as Moreau and Allori anticipate in their suggestive mythological paintings.