Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Artist: Massimo Stanzione (Italian, Neapolitan, 1585–1656)

Date: ca. 1640

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 78 1/2 x 57 1/2 in. (199.4 x 146.1 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Edward W. Carter, 1959

Accession Number: 59.40


The subject of the painting is the Biblical Jewish heroine Judith, who bravely went to the camp of the besieging Assyrians, plied the enemy general Holofernes with drink, and cut off his head. An emblem of virtue, she is accompanied by a servant, and displays her trophy, her head turned towards heaven. Stanzione’s work was influenced by that of Jusepe de Ribera, but he was also interested in the compositional suavity of Guido Reni.