Judith and Holofernes is the name given to one of the 14 Black Paintings painted by Francisco de Goya between 1819 and 1823. By this time, Goya was in his mid 70s and deeply disillusioned. In mental and physical despair, he painted the private works on the interior walls of his home—applying oils directly on plaster. The picture is a personal reinterpretation of the narrative of the Book of Judith, in which the protagonist saves Israel from the assault of the general Holofernes by seducing and beheading him. Judith is the only historical figure who can be identified with certainty among the Black Paintings.
The bronze sculpture Judith and Holofernes (1460), created by Donatello at the end of his career, can be seen in the Hall of Lilies (Sala dei Gigli), in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy. A copy stands in one of the sculpture's original positions on the Piazza della Signoria, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. It depicts the assassination of the Assyrian general Holofernes by Judith and is remarkable for being one of the first Renaissance sculptures to be conceived in the round, with its four distinct faces.
Judith and Holofernes is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna, painted about 1495, depicting the beheading of Holofernes by Judith.
The panel has brilliant and variegated colors, resembling a miniature. Judith is portrayed standing under the pink tent of Holofernes (whose foot can be seen on the right) immediately after beheading him, still holding the blade. She is dropping the head into a sack held by a maid.
The ground, painted in diagonal perspective, is composed of stone and earth slabs, some of which are out of position.
This is the first time Caravaggio chose such a highly dramatic subject, and with good reason. His Judith is an expression of an allegorical-moral contest in which Virtue overcomes Evil. In contrast to the elegant and distant beauty of the vexed Judith, the ferocity of the scene is concentrated in the inhuman scream and the body spasm of the giant Holofernes. Caravaggio has managed to render, with exceptional efficacy, the most dreaded moment in a man's life: the passage from life to death. The upturned eyes of Holofernes indicate that he is not alive any more, yet signs of life still persist in the screaming mouth, the contracting body and the hand that still grips at the bed. The original bare breasts of Judith, which suggest that she has just left the bed, were later covered by the semi-transparent blouse.
The roughness of the details and the realistic precision with which the horrific decapitation is rendered (correct down to the tiniest details of anatomy and physiology) has led to the hypothesis that the painting was inspired by two highly publicized contemporary Roman executions; that of Giordano Bruno and above all of Beatrice Cenci in 1599.
Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi -- the Italian early Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi completed between 1614–20. The work shows an apocrypha scene from the Old Testament Book of Judith which details the delivery of Israel from the Assyrian general Holofernes. In this scene, Judith and her maidservant behead the general after he has fallen asleep drunk.
The painting is relentlessly physical, from the wide spurts of blood to the energy of the two women as they try to wield the large dagger. The effort of the women's struggle is most finely represented by the delicate face of the maid, which is grasped by the oversized, muscular fist of Holofernes as he desperately struggles to survive. Although the painting depicts a classic scene from the Bible, Gentileschi drew herself as Judith and her mentor Agostino Tassi, who was tried in court for her rape, as Holofernes. Gentileschi's biographer Mary Garrard famously proposed an autobiographical reading of the painting, stating that it functions as "a cathartic expression of the artist's private, and perhaps repressed, rage."