Judith with the Head of Holofernes, and a Vision of the Virgin and Child Casting Out Evil, c. 1749

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This wash drawing is a preparatory study for one of Gottfried Bernhard Göz's painted church ceilings, which were fixtures of 18th-century Bavaria. (The wash technique is oddly appropriate: Holofernes had subjugated Judith's people by cutting off their water supply, and it will be restored with his death.) The upper image of Mary stabbing a serpent revives the medieval idea of Judith and Holofernes as prefigurations of Mary and Satan. Judith is all rococo splendor as she whisks Holofernes' head from his bloody neck.

Details
Title
Judith with the Head of Holofernes, and a Vision of the Virgin and Child Casting Out Evil
Role
Artist
Accession Number
66.59.8
Provenance
HWC blind stamp recto (Lugt 1391; H.W. Campe, Leipzig, 1770-1862); stamp, black, verso (Lugt 2731, Ville de Leipzig, public sale)
Curator Approved

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