Thursday, July 18, 2013

                                                           Judith Slaying Holofernes 

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned,". This rage driven piece of art is a scene from the old testament book of Judith. It tells the story of  how Judith a beautiful widow, was able to come into Holofernes's tent, what was an Assyrian General. He was going to destroy her home, the city of Bethulia. She was able to get him drunk and seduce him, but before anything actually happened her and her devoted maid beheaded him with a sword. This picture may be referencing a story, but in reality the artist put some of her own anger and frustration with the men in her life in this creation. Artemisia Gentileshi, the artist of this painting was angry with her father who for a long time would not help her pursue her dream of becoming an artist because he knew she would have to look at naked men. When he finally did, he got her a trainer who she began to have sexual relations with. When her father found out he was furious and the girl's trainer went to trial for statutory rape. The defense attorney put Artemisia and questioned her about having to look at naked men. The attorney questioned her like she was the accused rather than the victim. Although her trainer was convicted of rape, he did not serve any jail time and quit training Artemisia. She was angry and frustrated for years, but continued to work hard and became the first woman to attend the Academy of the Arts of Drawing. In many of her paintings you can see her fury towards men making it easy to connect herself and Judith in this painting.


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