Lakeview Museum
Burghley House Virtual Gallery
ELISABETTA SIRANI
1638-1665

Judith with the Head of Holofernes
Oil on canvas, BH #304
93 x 72 inches

In her grandest and most dramatic work, Sirani takes as her subject the story of Judith recorded in the fourth book of the Apocrypha. Judith conceives of a daring plan to defeat Holophernes, the Assyrian commander-in-chief. She joins his army, and soon Holophernes is tempted to win Judith. But while he lies drunk in his tent, Judith takes Holophernes' sword and cuts off his head. Sirani paints Judith upon her triumphant return to Israel with the slain enemy's head.


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