Description of the painting by Lucas Cranach “Judith with the head of Holofernes”

Description of the painting by Lucas Cranach “Judith with the head of Holofernes”

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Painter and graphic artist, master of genre sketches and compositions on biblical themes. This artist was able to synthesize Renaissance art and Gothic traditions in his work. In his works he developed an elegant style, where figures and landscape harmoniously merged into a single whole. Working in the heat of the portrait, he did not try to idealize the posers. However, deep psychological research also did not attract the master.

The plot for the picture was taken from the legend of a Jewish woman who saved her city from enemies, depriving them of their leader. By cunning, she entered the enemy camp and waited for the moment when Holofernes was drunk. Cutting off his head, Judith brought it to the city and hung it on the wall. Demoralized by the death of the commander, the enemies retreated from the walls of the city.

In the center of the composition is Judith with the head of Holofernes, the figure of a woman is located. A dark burgundy dress and hat unexpectedly combine with plate gloves. The sword in her hand does not look like a weapon, but a symbol. A symbol of freedom and retaliation. The head of the defeated enemy lies on the table, as an unnecessary part of the scenery. The calm, almost inanimate face of a woman looks away. No triumph, no regret, just a slight fatigue in his eyes. The static character of the figure was inherent in the painting of that time, but in the picture this static character emphasizes an already accomplished fact.

Many artists were attracted by the plot of the heroic act of Judith. A large number of paintings were created at different times and in a variety of styles. But Kronach created exactly the picture - a symbol.

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