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Judith - Jan Massijs


Jan Massijs

(Antwerp 1509 – 1575)

Judith is adorned with elegant jewels and a transparent veil. In her left hand, she holds the head of Holofernes, general of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Assyria, all the while discreetly averting her gaze. A sword is grasped in her right hand. She has enticed him, got him drunk and then struck his head off. By her action, the Jewish people were spared destruction. To the left is depicted the confusion that the entire event has sown among the enemy. The theme of strong women from the Old Testament – including Eve and Delilah, besides Judith – was very popular in Western European painting and literature.

From the collection of the KMSKA.