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Title Judith and the Head of Holofernes
Collection New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester
Artist Attributed to manner of Alberti, Cherubino (Italian painter and printmaker, 1553-1615)
Date Earliest possibly about 1600
Date Latest possibly about 1640

This painting captures a dramatic moment in the apocryphal story of Judith. To save her people, Judith, a Jew, murdered the Assyrian Holofernes, decapitating him when he was drunk. The artist shows Judith with the head of her foe. She glances over her shoulder, the musculature emphasised in Michelangelesque fashion. Drama is lent to the scene through the artist's use of chiaroscuro (extreme contrasts of light and dark) and the diagonal positioning of Holofernes's headless body with the gaping neck in the foreground.

The painting is attributed to an unknown follower of Cherubino Alberti, an Italian artist who worked mainly in Rome where he became Director of the Academy of St Luke.

Current Accession Number L.F113.1981.0.0
Former Accession Number 118 A 1981
Subject religion (Judith and Holofernes); figure; interior
Measurements 102.0 x 108 cm.0 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Transferred from Loughborough Library, Leicestershire County Library Services, 1980.
Provenance Given by Mrs. Sutton Clifford to Loughborough Library in memory of her late husband, Alderman Richard Sutton Clifford (d. 1939), after 1939.
Notes Alderman Richard Sutton Clifford (d. 1939) was a solicitor and Mayor of Loughborough 1901-3.
Rights Owner Leicester City Museums Service
Author Dr Angela Smith



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