The Bible relates how Judith saved her people in a war with the Assyrians by seducing their general Holofernes and cutting off his head.
Judith with the Head of Holofernes by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1530
© Burrell Collection
- Oil on panel Dimensions: 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.
Free to all
The Burrell Collection is closed for refurbishment and will reopen in 2020.