Judith with the Head of Holofernes by Lucas Cranach the Elder

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


Oil on panel
76.7 x 55.8 cm
Art Fund grant:
£50,000 ( Total: £314,663; Export stopped)
Acquired in:
Private vendor

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.

Venue details

Burrell Collection Pollok Country Park, 2060 Pollokshaws Road, GLASGOW Strathclyde G43 1AT 0141 287 2550 www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/burrell-collection

Entry details

Free to all

The Burrell Collection is closed for refurbishment and will reopen in 2020.