Judith presented to Holofernes

Judith Presenting Herself to Holofernes, 1720s

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The Jewish heroine Judith is famous for beheading the Assyrian general Holofernes, who had laid siege to her town. While most artists chose to depict the beheading, Gionima picked the moment when the two first meet. Pretending to desert her people, the rich and beautiful widow Judith has just sneaked into the enemy camp with her maid. Holofernes is instantly enamored of her. The composition focuses on the ravishing figure of Judith, brightly lit and clothed in vibrant colors, while Holofernes has a supporting role.

Gionima painted in the grand classical style that prevailed in 18th-century Bologna. His promising career was cut short by his death at age thirty-five.

Judith Presenting Herself to Holofernes
Artist Life
Italian (Bologna), 1697–1732
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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Judith presented to Holofernes