The Bible relates how Judith saved her people in a war with the Assyrians by seducing their general Holofernes and cutting off his head.

Cranach portrays Judith as a wise and self-assured woman, elegantly clad and holding the blood-stained sword in a restrained but triumphant manner. She wears contemporary dress; and the landscape visible in the distance contains buildings consistent with Cranach's own surroundings. This picture is treated like a portrait rather than a history painting.


Collection Rudolf Chillingworth sale; Galeries Fischer, Lucerne, 1922; Henry McLaren, 2nd Baron Aberconway; thence by descent; Christie's, 1994.

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